More than a century after the first performances in Paramaribo, the Concertgebouw Orchestra is breathing new life into Het pand der goden ('The Pledge of the Gods’) by the Surinamese composer Johannes Nicolaas Helstone (b. 1853, d. 1927) as part of a special collaboration with Cappella Amsterdam and conductor Otto Tausk.
Johannes Nicolaas Helstone
Het pand der goden (The Pledge of the Gods)
Manoushka Zeegelaar Breeveld
Dates and tickets
About this concert
Het pand der goden ('The Pledge of the Gods', 1906) is a music drama by the Surinamese composer Johannes Nicolaas Helstone, who was born on the Berg en Dal plantation in 1853 and died in Paramaribo in 1927. First performed very successfully in Paramaribo in 1906, the opera was revised for performances in Germany, but then fell into oblivion. The Concertgebouw Orchestra is delighted to draw attention again to this cultural heritage and welcomes one and all to this unique performance under the baton of Otto Tausk, who will share the stage with Cappella Amsterdam and vocal soloists.
As a musician and writer, Johannes Nicolaas Helstone is an important figure in the cultural history of Suriname. Having studied composition, piano and organ in Leipzig, he enjoyed success in Berlin, Paris and Vienna. But instead of pursuing an international career, Helstone decided to return to his native Suriname to contribute to the further development of its culture.
Het pand der goden tells a mythical story: the hero Olindo discovers that he has an older sister, whom the gods abducted as an infant in order to punish her parents. Olindo vows to find her and embarks on a dangerous journey to the temple of the gods… Will he succeed in bringing Athlolinda home?
With thanks to the Concertgebouw and the Helstone Fonds.