The Shell Trial

The new opera The Shell Trial, created by our composer-in-residence Ellen Reid, is premiering this month. Members of the Orchestra and Academy both are playing in this collective production about the controversial lawsuit in which Shell was held responsible for its share in climate change.
The Shell Trial

The Shell Trial is part of the Opera Forward Festival at the Dutch National Opera & Ballet, the festival that explores the future of the opera genre. The libretto, written by Roxie Perkins and based on the award-winning play by Anoek Nuyens and Rebekka de Wit, is about the lawsuit that was filed against oil giant Shell in 2021. In the opera, different voices from the debate are brought to the fore, and it becomes increasingly clear that the climate crisis is above all a crisis of responsibility.

Musical director and co-creator Manoj Kamps conducts Academy students and members of the Concertgebouw Orchestra, a combination of several children’s choirs and a large number of soloists, including Claire Barnett-Jones, Lauren Michelle, Erik Slik and Nikki Treurniet. It is directed by Gable and Romy Roelofsen of theatre platform Het Geluid.

Composer in residence – Amsterdam

Ellen ReidEllen Reid – hailed as one of the most versatile, original and innovative composers of her generation – is the composer-in-residence of the Concertgebouw and the Concertgebouw Orchestra this season. 

As part of her residency, Reid is staying in Amsterdam this spring. She is present as a guest at concerts and rehearsals, and orchestra musicians are teaming up with the adventurous singer Eliza Bagg musicians to perform a programme compiled by Reid in the Recital Hall of the Concertgebouw on 11 April. In addition, Reid created a new Vondelpark version of her Ellen Reid SOUNDWALK, a musically enhanced walk. The app necessary for this soundwalk will be available from 6 April via

During her residence in Amsterdam, Ellen Reid is also writing a composition for the Concertgebouw Orchestra, which will premiere under the baton of future chief conductor Klaus Mäkelä next season. She is delighted with the opportunity to get to know the Concertgebouw Orchestra. ‘For me it’s wonderful to know who I am writing for and to meet the musicians. Getting to know the energy of a company, the dynamics in a group, helps me to shape a work. I already have plans, small ideas, but I can only really get started once I feel a bond with the people and their environment.’