(a short biography for publication can be found in the Press Kit)
Annechien Koerselman has had a lifelong fascination for great stories. At four years old her mother taught her to read. Since she has devoured books, from Greek myths, fairy tales to contemporary literature. This fascination is also reflected in her theater work. On the one side she is staging myths (sometimes rewritten for theatre by herself such as The Flying Dutchman and Bonnie & Clyde), at other times they form an important source of inspiration for the concept and design of the performance.
For example, she staged the myths such as Atalanta by Peer Wittenbols (Oostpool, 2004), Bluebeard by Dea Loher (The Frequency/Atelier d., 2004) and The Flying Dutchman (Het Vervolg, 2006) for which she also wrote the text herself. For Bout'chou - 4 seasons (Philharmonie Luxembourg, 2014/2015) she created a world full of fairy tale images and music, in which the adventueres of the little fairy Choupinette could come to life. Connection through literature and visual art is also the most important source of inspiration in her music-theatrical approach. In case of Fireface by Marius von Mayenburg (Theatre at the Spui, 2008) Annechien used Baroque music for her sounddesign to connect Heaven and Hell in a musical theatrical way.
Above all, music is the common thread in all her work.
No wonder Annechien is active as a stage director in theatre, music theater and opera. Her productions are presented in The Netherlands and abroad. In 2015, for example, she staged the newly written opera The Monster in the Maze (Middleton/Dove) at the Berliner Philharmoniker Berlin. In the 2012/2013 season, the youth opera Can you whistle, Johanna (Hartmann/Kampe) premiered at Die Deutsche Oper Berlin, where she subsequently also staged the music theater performance Gold and The Secret of the Blue Deer. Commissioned by among others Philharmonie Luxembourg, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, the Münchner Philharmoniker, Tonkünstler Wien and WDR Funkhausorchestra, she wrote and staged several youth music theater productions, both family performances with orchestra and studio productions with chamber music ensembles. She also regularly directs operas for the adult audience. After her opera debut in 2009 L’isola Disabitata by Haydn at The National Reisopera (Dutch Touring Opera), for example, Babyn Jar in Kiyv (Ukraine) and newly composed operas such as Dikedrift for Silbersee/Calefax Reed quintet followed. Music is always an important player in her plays. Annechien usually designs her own sound designs by very musically intersecting texts with music or providing the spoken text with a suitable underscore.A good example of this is the 2014 production Land of overseas, which Annechien created for Theaterproductiehuis Zeelandia, and warmly received in the press and by the public.
Annechien directs actors, singers and musicians and has developed a separate approach for everyone, so that musicians also feel at home as performers on stage in her work. In this way she wrote and staged the successful music theater performance The Musicfactory, for the Calefax Reedquintet/Oorkaan, for which she received the Junge Ohren Price in 2012. A show without text, because music and performance are telling the whole story, With the same approach she created The Brass Gang by Sonus Brass and Par!s! Par!s! by Die Schurken. Also commissioned by festivals such as the International Chambermusicfestival and The Grachtenfestival she succeeds in inspiring musians how to "tell" music in an appealing way.
Annechien uses a story – either an existing one, sometimes written by herself sometimes in collaboration with another author – as the basic starting point for her productions. Driven by a conceptual idea, she then strives for a fascinating combination of text, music, image and movement: total theatre. To achieve this, close collaboration with composers, authors and designers is of great importance. The conceptual idea about the performance is further developed in such a way that content and form flow together organically. In rehearsals, she finds it important that the actors/singers/musicians/dancers think along, are form-conscious and have musical awareness. In order to create a very personal, but compelling theatrical story, Annechien does not shy away from the unknown and intuitive. For that reason, she is often involved from the start in newly developed music theatre and opera projects.
Annechien primarily operates as a stage director in theatre, music theatre and opera. She also sometimes designs the lights and/or set and/or costumes and/or video for the performances she stages. In addition, she regularly writes plays and libretti, stage adaptations of novels and makes translations. In 2001 she made her professional debut with the stage adaptation of the eponymous novel The Garden of the Innocent by Kristien Hemmerechts (Branoul). In 2002 she directed her first self-written play: Tranquillizers (The Frequency/Atelier d.). Since then, various texts, libretti and scripts by her have followed, such as Black Perfume, Planets, The (new) Story of the Soldier, Marfoesjka & The Frost, Bonnie & Clyde and Pagliaccio. For an overview, see Scripts.