A Leeuwarder cultural icon is disappearing
Translated by Thomas Ansell
As reported by the Omrop Fryslân, the Leeuwarder opera group Animato will wind up after its final performances in 2021. The troupe was founded in 1957, and has packed out auditoriums since. There are now only 23 members left in the group, with an average age of over 65- and due to the Coronavirus outbreak they can no longer meet to practice.
“We’ve come to the decision with pain in our hearts”, says Detty ten Dolle. “We don’t want this end, and had wanted to do one more big performance next year, but that can’t happen. It’s very unfortunate, and is painful. A great Leeuwarder pillar is going missing.”
At the beginning of this year the group’s leadership met to discuss whether it was feasible to continue with only 23 members. Whilst the group has filled auditoriums in its history, interest has waned in recent years. “There’s less interest for our sort of music, so we’ve got less income and we can’t meet our costs anymore”, says Ten Dolle.
Ten Dolle and the rest of the group can look back on a starry history, filled with soloists, full halls, and full orchestral backing. “We wanted to perform ‘Zar und Zimmerman’ by Albert Lortzing next year. It’s a beautiful operetta, and it was going to put us in a new jacket, so to speak- something more modern and we wanted to fly-in a soloist. But it’s not possible now, so we’re stopping definitively”, she says.
Animato has a huge collection of costumes, numbering about 3,000 pieces. “We need to think of what to do [with the costumes]. Maybe there’s a cause they can go to? If anyone can think of one, let us know”, says Ten Dolle.
Due to the Coronavirus, the group can’t hold a festive send-off this year, but will hold one next year if possible.