Distorting Mirrors: Appropriating Foreign Operettas in Dutch Urban Societies (1856-1914)


Veerle Driessen (PhD Candidate)

Time frame

September 2020 - August 2024

Project description

In the second part of the nineteenth century, operetta was extremely popular in the entire western world, and The Netherlands was no exception. With irony and satire, operettas depicted themes from everyday life in an absurd manner. Especially in Amsterdam, The Hague and Rotterdam, operettas were omnipresent, even though virtually none were originally produced here. This PhD project aims to unravel how and why nineteenth-century actors in the theatrical field appropriated foreign operettas – specifically their textual, musical, visual and performative representations of social relations – catering for and impacting on various tastes and values, within a variety of Dutch urban contexts.




Veerle Driessen,