They’re young, sexy and all set to add an enthralling twist to classical music. This November, all-girl Dutch string quartet, Ragazze Quartet, mix worlds, musical styles and performance arts in a captivating show inspired by Chinese composer Tan Dun’s 1994 masterpiece Ghost Opera.
Hip and fun, the members of the quartet have all had extensive training in classical music and have been performing prestigious orchestras for years.
Rosa Arnold, 28, an award-winning violinist, is also a keen stage actress, and part of a two-member act called Via Berlin. Jeanita Vriens, 29, who has played with orchestras such as the National Youth Orchestra and the European Union Youth Orchestra, now plays a Grancino violin, lent to her by the National Music Instrument Fund. Annemijn Bergkotte, 29, who formerly played with national level orchestras, was also the finalist of the Princess Christina Competition in the East of Holland. Geneviève Verhage, 27, the youngest of the group, is passionate about chamber music, and has been part of several chamber music ensembles and orchestras. The cello she plays is a Hyppolite Silvestre dating back to 1865 and is on loan from the NMF.
The choice of Dun’s piece was perfect for Ragazze, who are known for being experimental and including theatrical elements in their performance.
The opera uses elements from Chinese, Tibetan, English and American culture, along with shadow puppetry, folk music, and shamanic rituals. In fact, it opens with an act called Bach, Monks and Shakespeare Meet in Water.
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