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During the last few years, the Nederlandse Reisopera (Dutch National Touring Opera) has chosen a policy of ambitious opera programming. Numerous positive reactions from its audience and from the press, growing audience numbers and income confirm the Reisopera’s enormous success in this respect. Its core activity is to present a minimum of three high-quality opera productions each year, performed throughout The Netherlands.

In addition to the three major annual productions, the Reisopera has been exploring innovative ways to reach a more diverse audience. The company experimented with design and new technologies, introduced a talent development programme for young opera makers (which led to the successful production of Eugene Onegin), founded the Reisopera Children’s Choir, and expanded its educational and participation activities. In the near future, the Reisopera will continue to build on these activities, inspired by its core values audacious, forward-looking and accessible.

The Nederlandse Reisopera has a national mandate, is the primary springboard for national opera talent and has, at the same time, a strong regional bond with the eastern Netherlands. The national mandate, which is to stimulate the experience of opera throughout The Netherlands, requires a spread out as broadly as possible throughout the country, yet concentrated, whilst also taking into account the theatres suitable for these productions.

The Nederlandse Reisopera is based in Enschede*, from where it continues to build on its strong relationships with the city, the region, as well as with other local and regional cultural and educational organizations. Encouraging fundamental agreements to maintain and strengthen these relationships have been made with local and provincial governments.

During the last few years well-known (opera) titles have been produced in innovative stagings: Sondheim’s A Little Night Music, Il barbiere di Siviglia by Gioacchino Rossini, and Tosca by Giacomo Puccini, for example. The somewhat less well-known opera Die tote Stadt by Erich Wolfgang Korngold was extremely well received and succeeded in appealing not only to existing opera-lovers, als also to an audience new to opera. In the 2019/20 season the Reisopera nearly completely sold out its performances of the “Gesamtkunstwerk” L’Orfeo (Claudio Monterverdi). This co-production with artist collective Studio DRIFT, to name one of the many collaborators, received excellent reviews from the national and international press.

While adhering to the Corona measures prescribed by the government, this season the Reisopera has developed several innovative, small-scale young talent productions for large and small theatres, as well as for outdoor locations.

 The Nederlandse Reisopera is fortunate to receive subsidized structural financing from the government and is part of the country’s cultural basis infrastructure. In addition, there is a sharp focus on cultural entrepreneurship. In its governance The Nederlandse Reisopera utilizes the Supervisory Board model. The Nederlandse Reisopera endorses and practices the Diversity & Inclusion Code of Conduct in its organisation and productions, where possible.

 * Enschede is a lively and culturally important city with 160.000 inhabitants in the east of the Netherlands, close to the German border. 


Due to the recent departure of the general director, The Nederlandse Reisopera seeks qualified candidates for the position of GENERAL DIRECTOR  (m/f).


What the General Director will have achieved within five years

• The Reisopera continues to be an innovator in the world of opera practice
This is demonstrable by
– The ongoing repertoire innovation and the introduction of new opera performance forms, which are in line with social development trends (diversity and inclusion)
– The appeal of performances and other activities to target groups not traditionally attracted to opera
– The appreciation of these innovations by the audience, professional press, donors, and funding institutions
– The achieving or surpassing of the expectations set out in the “BIS-subsidie 2021-2024”
– A positive evaluation by the “Raad van Cultuur” and the granting of the “BIS-aanvraag 2025-2029”

• The Reisopera has emerged stronger from the pandemic
This is demonstrable by
– More robust audience growth numbers than those of other music institutions
– The appeal of performances and other activities to target groups not traditionally attracted to opera

• The Reisopera has stable and varying sources of income
This is demonstrable by
– Long-term cooperation with provincial and local governments
– Long-term cooperation with the national government
– Long-term cooperation with individual and corporate donors

• The Reisopera is a breeding ground for national and international talent
This is demonstrable by
– Advancement within the Reisopera’s own staff
– Availability of young Dutch and foreign talent for the performances
– Collaboration with other national and international companies

• The Reisopera is closely bonded with the region and has a strong national and international reputation
This is demonstrable by
– Audience numbers in all of the cities where the Reisopera performs
– The role of the General Director in regional public life
– The General Director resides in the region
– The esteem of the national and international professional press


What the General Director brings to this position

  • Proven expertise in the field of opera

This is demonstrable by

  • (Preferably) Training as a musician
  • Successful experience in managing an opera company (artistic and business)
  • Ability to be the standard bearer for the Reisopera

This is demonstrable by

  • Representativeness and language proficiency
  • Managerial experience and sensitivity
  • Proven skill in building commercial partnerships with the Reisopera

This is demonstrable by

  • Experience in recruiting successful private and commercial donors
  • Proven skill and critical capacity to improve the effectiveness of an organization

This is demonstrable by

  • Success in improving the effectiveness of individuals and teams
  • Sufficient financial insight and experience to supervise the internal financial manager



The remuneration is competitive. The general director is appointed for a period of four years, with the possibility for extension.


The Nederlandse Reisopera is located at Wenninkgaarde 40 – 42, 7511 PH Enschede, The Netherlands. The technical departments and workshops are located in the Performance Factory, Hoge Bothofstraat 43A, 7511 ZA Enschede, The Netherlands.


Your application must be received before Monday, November 30, 2020.



The procedure will include an assessment.

Relocating to the Enschede area is necessary.

Willingness to learn the Dutch language is a prerequisite.

For additional information:annual report 2019 and the “BIS-plan 2017-2020”.

You may also contact Marina Wijn at +31 (0)6 27040233.



This vacancy search is being coordinated by cultural search bureau Marina Wijn Consultants, Weesperzijde 25, 1091 EC Amsterdam, telephone +31 (0)6 27040233 or +31(0)20 625 06 36, e-mail office@marinawijn.nl.

If you are interested in this position, or if you would like to suggest another potential candidate, please contact Marina Wijn.

Additional information about Marina Wijn Consultants can be found at www.marinawijn.nl.