for two female solo voices, vocal and instrumental ensemble 

Chamber Opera (50′)
Concept & creation:
Annelies Van Parys — music
Gaea Schoeters — libretto
Sjaron Minailo — stage

24 September 2022
Biënnale Musica, Scuola Grande di San Rocco, Venezia

Volver meets Hiroshima mon Amour in this moving story.

Two women involuntarily share a prison cell: a young activist who was arrested after an illegal protest and a working-class woman who murdered her boyfriend. Their forced togetherness starts tensely, but as the nights go by, they share their fears and hopes. Notwehr brings together old and new music: a cycle of baroque madrigals by Banchieri provides a sort of echo of the past and of the outside world and intertwines with the new music of Annelies Van Parys.
The witty libretto is from Gaea Schoeters and the poetic staging by Sjaron Minailo. The opera is dedicated to Maria Kaleshnikava & all other brave women who lost their freedom fighting for a better world.
Soloists: Els Mondelaers & Johanna Zimmer

Notwehr was commissioned by Biënnale di Venezia 2022 
2024 production: Hermes-Ensemble, B’Rock Vocal Consort, Studio Minailo & Muziektheater Transparant.

"She brings many years of experience in music theatre to the task, and it shows - idiomatic instrumental writing, strong vocal lines, and her characteristic ability to weave in and out of music history without losing her own voice all contribute to the evening’s strength. A good libretto ... certainly helps. Schoeters strikes just the right balance between poetry and prose, never too wordy, but always a compelling narrative." -  Shirley Apthorp, Slippedisc

With the support of De Vlaamse Gemeenschap


PREY is a music theatre production by Kris Verdonck / A Two Dogs Company, in co-production with Muziektheater Transparant and in collaboration with ICTUS Ensemble.
 Annelies Van Parys is writing a new composition.

“We are food” (Val Plumwood)
A new humility

How can we change the way we view being human from a radical ecological perspective? What stories help us to better understand the disruptions caused by the climate crisis? These questions are at the heart of PREY. And perhaps our own mortality and vulnerability provide a good starting point for the search for an answer.

PREY consists of three solos by three generations of women. Each has its own focus: text/language, song/music and dance/performance. With every solo, the tension between the human and the landscape, performer and scenography, becomes more intense and intimate. The essence of PREY is finding solace in the frightening fact that we too are food, that we too belong to an ecological cycle of life and death.

Kris Verdonck has gathered an extraordinary group of people around him for this performance: composer Annelies Van Parys, ICTUS Ensemble, actress Katelijne Damen, singer Anna Clare Hauf and dancer Mooni Van Tichel. Verdonck is responsible for the scenography, a landscape in which the performers increasingly disappear and are swallowed up.

The premiere took place on 25-26 March 2023 at Théâtre Varia as part of the Klarafestival in Brussels.

We are all food.
Interview with Kris Verdonck and Annelies Van Parys

With the support of de Vlaamse Gemeenschap

Holle Haven
Holle Haven


Text: Gaea Schoeters, Paul van Ostaijen
Composition: Annelies Van Parys
Piano: Annelies Van Parys, Lies Colman
Mezzosoprano: Els Mondelaers

14 May 2021 (online)
Concertgebouw Brugge 



This opera is based on Debussy’s “La Chute de la Maison Usher” is the  second Opera of Annelies Van Parys. It departs from the existing sketches (roughly 20’) of Debussy but is by no means intended as an attempt to reconstruct the piece. The text of Debussy and Gaea Schoeters is based on E.A. Poe’s "The Fall of the House of Usher".
USHER is a co-commission of Staatsoper Berlin and Folkoperan Stockholm. 

Composition: Annelies Van Parys/Claude Debussy • Libretto/ Scenario: Gaea Schoeters/Debussy/Poe • Musical Direction: Marit Strindlund • Direction /Set Design: Philippe Quesne • Dramaturgy: Roman Reger • Music: Members of the Staatskapelle Berlin (Berlin) / KammerensembleN (Stockholm) • Soprano: Ruth Rosenfeldt / Alexandra Büchel • Baritones: David Ostrek, Martin Gercke, Dominic Kraemer / Olle Persson, Ola Eliasson, Rickard Söderberg

1 soprano, 3 baritones
Flute, saxophone (soprano + tenor), trumpet, horn, trombone, tuba, bayan, harp, percussion, 2 violins, viola, violoncello, double bass + surround.

Het Kanaal
Het Kanaal

A Musical Theatre Play
This performance consists of two monologues written by Gaea Schoeters in which texts by Shakespeare provide a kind of meta-commentary. These texts were set to music by Annelies Van Parys.

Composition: Annelies Van Parys • Scenario / Theaterplay: Gaea Schoeters (&Shakespeare) • Soprano: Naomi Beeldens • Lute / Guitar: Maarten Vandenbemden • Staging: Het Geluid Maastricht  • Set Design: Anneleen De Causmaecker

for 2 actors, singer and lute/guitar

Diary of he one who disappeared
Diary of he one who disappeared

Songs (Tagebuch)

A commission by the Klarafestival. The production was a staged setting of the Song Cycle of Janacek with added new songs of Van Parys for the female character of Zefka and the female choir.

Composition: Annelies Van Parys/ Leos Janacek • Concept and staging: Ivo Van Hove • Stage: Jan Versweyveld • Dramaturgy: Krystian Lada • Soloists: Ed Lyon and Marie Hamard • Actor: Hugo Koolschijn • Choir: Trees Beckwé, Isabelle Jacques, Raphaële Nsunda Nluti • Piano: Lada Valesova  

Soprano, 3 female voices (S, M, A) and piano

And thou must suffer
And thou must suffer

(4' + 3') 
Introduction and coda to the Saint-Johns passion

A commission by the Klarafestival. The performance was a staged setting of the Saint-Johns Passion by Pierre Audi with contemporary pieces at the beginning, in the middle and at the end.

Compositie: Annelies Van Parys/ Samir Odeh-Tamimi/Johann Sebastian Bach • Concept and staging: Pierre Audi • Direction: Andreas Spering • Soloists: Jacop Pilgram, Dominik Köninger, Grace Davidson, Benno Schachtner, Magnus Staveland, Tomas Kral • Choir: NFM Choir • Ensemble: B'Rock • Set and light: Roel Vanberckelaer and Peter Quasters • Images: Wim Delvoye • Video: Myriam Devriendt

Choir and baroque orchestra

Private view
Private view

First opera by Annelies Van Parys.

Annelies Van Parys writes Private View, her first opera, for the Opera XXI festival. Private View is a production of Muziektheater Transparant in coproduction with Concertgebouw Brugge, Operadagen Rotterdam, Opera Vlaanderen, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Asko|Schönberg, Collective 33 ⅓, National Opera Bergen and Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg. With the support of BesteBuren. 

Private View was awarded the FEDORA - Rolf Liebermann Prize for Opera 2014.
SABAM Award 2015
MTN Award 2015
Armel Opera Festival Award for the best production of 2015

Composition: Annelies Van Parys • Libretto: Jen Hadfield • Scenario: Gaea Schoeters • Musical Direction: Etienne Siebens • Direction I Dramaturgy: Tom Creed • Set Design I Video: Collective 33 1/3 • Music: Asko I Schönberg Ensemble & Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart • Soprano: Johanna Zimmer • Mezzo Soprano: Truike Van Der Poel • Tenor: Martin Nagy • Bariton: Guillermo Anzorena • Bas: Andreas Fischer • Light Design: Peter Quasters.

Field Recordings
Field Recordings

A performance - Installation 
Commissioned by Concertgebouw Brugge and realized with the support of the Flemish Government.

Composition: Annelies Van Parys • Texts: Peter Verhelst • Concept and Installation: Anneleen De Causmaecker • Sound: Roel Das • Mezzo: Els Mondelaers • Saxophones: Andy Dhont • Percussion: Vincent Caers • Dance: Isabelle Balsa

Mezzo soprano, Saxophone (1 player, multiple saxophones), percussion and electroacoustic installation of 98 speakers


For solo harp
Commissioned by Theater De Spiegel.

Music theatre production for small children.
Premiered by Isabelle Matthijssens / Sonja Tavormina

Instrumentation: Harp


For recorder solo, water and electronics. 
Commissioned by and dedicated to Guillaume Van Mechelen 

Premiered by Jan Van Hoecke, June 2011 at Werkhuys Antwerp.
Concept and Staging Anneleen De Causmaecker, staging advice Fardau Akkerhof 
Supported by Studio Champ D’Action (electronics: Jasper Braet)

Instrumentation: Recorder, water, electronics

An Oresteïa
An Oresteïa
2010 / 2013

A drama of Clytemnestra from the Oresteia by Aeschylos; a companion to Oresteia by Iannis Xenakis. 

Text by Aeschylos, selection Caroline Petrick Transl. A.D. Bouillet, P. Claudel
for mezzo, mezzo-alto, alto and ensemble

”“…Van Parys’s score fits arrestingly well… The performance was overwhelming…” An Oresteia - Maarten Beirens, De Standaard, 22 February 2011”
- Maarten Beirens, De Standaard, 22 February 2011

Part 1.  Prologue
Part 2.  Clytemnestre se justifie
Part 3.  L'ombre de Clytemnestre
Part 4.  Epilogue

80' (staged version, 2010)
20' (concert version, 2013)

Instrumentation: Soprano, Mezzo, Mezzo-alto, flute, oboe, piccolo clarinet Eb, contrabass clarinet, double bassoon, horn in F, trumpet in c, tenor trombone, tuba, cello, timpani, percussion (1)

Commissioned by the Eduard van Beinum Stichting for Asko/Schönberg 

Staged version premiered by VocaalLAB Nederland and Asko/Schönberg Ensemble, cond. Alejo Pérez, February 2011 at Concertgebouw Brugge. Concept and staging Caroline Petrick. A production of Muziektheater Transparant and Concertgebouw Brugge

Concert Version premiered by Asko/Schönberg Ensemble, cond. Clark Rundell, September 2013 at Vredenburg Leeuwenburgh, Utrecht for the opening concert of the 2013 Gaudeamus Muziekweek

Can be performed as a separate music drama, for stage or concert hall, or as part of a complete "Oresteia" to be performed alongside that of Iannis Xenakis.

An index of memories
An index of memories

For Mezzo, Bariton, SSA and Ensemble 
Commissioned by the Spectra Ensemble

Premiere by VocaalLAB Nederland and Spectra Ensemble, cond. Marit Strindlund, March 2010 at deSingel, Antwerp. Staging Caroline Petrick A production of Music Theatre Transparant

Instrumentation: Mezzo, Baritone, SSA, flute, clarinet, horn, violin, viola, cello, percussion (3).

”This performance again reflects the big talent of Annelies Van Parys who, as few other composers in Flanders, masters the art of limitation and has no fear for beauty and seduction.”
An Index Of Memories - Stefan Moens, De Morgen, 15 March 2010