Ragazze Quartet
Ragazze Quartet plays both classical and modern string quartet repertoire: inspired and on the highest level. With attractive but unconventional programmes the quartet has come to be one of the most fresh and leading voices in the world of classical music.
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About this programme
The World’s Wife
In the media
About this programme
In the media
SUN 21 NOV, 4:00pm
Theater Kikker / Utrecht / NL
THU 19 MAY, 8:30pm
Grand Theatre / Groningen / NL / TRY OUT
FRI 20 MAY, 8:00pm
Theater Rotterdam Schouwburg / Rotterdam / NL / Première O.
TUE 02 MAY, 7:30pm
Barbican Centre / London / UK
Chamber opera with bariton Lucia Lucas and Ragazze Quartet

The World’s Wife is based on an anthology of poems by Carol Ann Duffy and reflects on collective stories, historical events and myths, told from an altered, female perspective. Inspired by Duffy’s poems, composer Tom W. Green wrote a chamber opera for singer, string quartet and looping station.


Throughout the opera, different female characters take the stage, both historical and mythological, ranging from the sexually awakened little-red cap to the motherly Queen Herod. By way of response, Green’s composition contains music from past female composers who were sometimes unduly ignored, such as Clara Schumann and Fanny Mendelssohn.


Ragazze Quartet and Dutch opera director Jorinde Keesmaat are for the first time creating a fully staged version of the opera. Keesmaat (known from a.o. Andriessen’s Anais Nin + Odysseus Women) is intrigued by the absence of the female voice which paradoxically speaks through Duffy’s poems.


While stating their individuality, the women in the poetry are at the same time trapped in a male narrative. Seeking to weave their own narrative, five female performers explore their historical and mythological predecessors. They are guided by the warm baritone singing of transgender opera singer Lucia Lucas, who has recognised and has responded to her inner voice unlike anyone else. Together, they embark on a journey which leads to a (re)discovery of a collective and individual, female voice.


Photo: Nichon Glerum

Tom W Green
Carol Ann Duffy
Stage director
Jorinde Keesmaat
Lucia Lucas
Rosa Arnold, Jeanita Vriens-van Tongeren
Annemijn Bergkotte
Amber Docters van Leeuwen or Rebecca Wise
Stage design
Sammy Van den Heuvel
Sasja Strengholt
Make-up & hair design
Radna Berendsen
Lalina Goddard
Bureau Merkwaardig
Tim van 't Hof, Rohan McDermott
Koen Keevel
Wendy van Os
Remy de Graaf, Ragazze Quartet
O. Festival for Opera. Music. Theatre., Barbican, What You See Festival, Grand Theatre
Ragazze Quartet
Made possible by
"The American transgender baritone Lucia Lucas is a formidable performer. Her presence fills the stage. Vocally, every note makes for a deeply felt experience and is given the right musical intensity. And the carefully thought-out interpretation is complemented to perfection by the Ragazze Quartet, which is fully integrated into the action - there is not a single music standard in sight throughout the performance."
"In the [...] final section the five women lay themselves down into wooden boxes filled with soil, from which they thereafter proudly rise and leave their self sacrifice and victim roll behind."