Maria Louise was here

September 15th to November 5th
Maria Louise was here

Marie Louise was here

Light and sound spectacle

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Maria Louise was here… and she’s coming back! The Princessehof in Leeuwarden will once again present the successful Son et lumière from 15 September to 5 November 2022. For eight weekends in the late summer, visitors can enjoy a free performance in the beautifully lit palace garden, which combines video projections and compelling music to create an extraordinary sound and light show. The performances last about 20 minutes and can be seen every Thursday, Friday and Saturday* at 20.00. Book your free tickets now.

* From 15 September to 5 November 2022 Maria Louise was here can be seen every Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with a few exceptions. Underneath you'll find an overview with all the dates the Son et lumière is on play.

Thursday 15 september, Friday 16 september, Saturday 17 september, Thursday 22 september, Thursday 29 september, Friday 30 september, Saturday 1 oktober, Thursday 6 oktober, Friday 7 oktober, Saturday 8 oktober, Friday 14 oktober, Saturday 15 oktober, Wednesday 19 oktober, Thursday 20 oktober, Friday 21 oktober, Saturday 22 oktober, Thursday 27 oktober, Friday 28 oktober, Saturday 29 oktober, Thursday 3 november, Friday 4 november, Saturday 5 november.

Maria Louise was here, 2021, Photo by Ruben van Vliet
Maria Louise was here, 2021, Photo by Ruben van Vliet

Son et Lumière
The light and sound spectacle in the Princessehof’s garden includes video projections on the facades of the city palace, a specially composed piece of music and special lighting in the garden. Marie Louise was here sketches a modern portrait of a powerful woman in a world dominated by men: Marie Louise of Hesse-Kassel, Princess of Orange-Nassau (1688-1765), ancestor of our current king. This is the second time that the Princessehof is presenting Maria Louise was here. All the performances in the first edition in 2021 sold out; this time the Son et lumière is completely free to attend. We recommend that you reserve tickets online as soon as you can at princessehof.nl/tickets.

Theatre maker Jos van Kan directed the performance. He and media artist Frouke ten Velden designed this project to be poetic and beguiling, and made clever use of the Princessehof’s architecture. Actress Ariane Schluter, twice the winner of the prestigious Theo d'Or theatre award (2003, 2004), portrays Marie Louise. Remko Smids took care of the technical production and sound design.

Matriarch of our royal family
Marie Louise of Hesse-Kassel, Princess of Orange-Nassau was born in 1688. At the age of 21 she married Johan Willem Friso van Nassau-Dietz, stadholder of Friesland and Groningen and prince of Orange. When he died unexpectedly in 1711, the heavily pregnant Maria Louise became responsible for the survival of the Orange dynasty at the tender age of 23. For twenty years she acted as regent until their son reached adulthood. She moved to this city palace, her Princessehof, when she relinquished her role as regent.

The influence of the Frisian Nassaus increased with this headstrong lady at the helm, who laid the foundations upon which Dutch royal family was built. The current Dutch king, Willem-Alexander, is her direct descendant. She is also an ancestor of almost all European royal houses. In Maria Louise was here, we meet the princess when she moved to the Princessehof. Expressive video projections, light and music bring her to life on the facades of her own palace.

Maria Louise was here, 2021, Photo by Ruben van Vliet
Maria Louise was here, 2021, Photo by Ruben van Vliet
Ariane Schluter is Maria Louise, still from Maria Louise was here.
Ariane Schluter is Maria Louise, still from Maria Louise was here.
Still from Maria Louise was here
Still from Maria Louise was here

North Netherlands Orchestra (NNO)
Max Knigge composed a piece of music especially for the performance, which was recorded by the North Netherlands Orchestra (NNO). The composition was written such that 29 of the NNO’s musicians could record the music within the constraints of the then prevailing corona restrictions. The composition is presented as a compelling audio experience in the garden.

Maria Louise was here, 2021, Photo by Ruben van Vliet
Maria Louise was here, 2021, Photo by Ruben van Vliet

Maria Louise was here was realised with the support of the Municipality of Leeuwarden, the North Netherlands Orchestra, Prins Bernard Culture Fund Fryslân, Stichting het Nieuwe Stads Weeshuis, St. Anthony Gasthuis Fund, Boelstra Olivier Foundation, Herbert Duintjer Fund, Ritske Boelema Gasthuis, Emmaplein Foundation, Leeuwarder Ondernemers Fonds and the Friends of the Princessehof.

Partners of the Princessehof: Ottema-Kingma Foundation, Society of Friends of the Princessehof National Museum of Ceramics and Club Céramique

The Princessehof National Museum of Ceramics is co-financed by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and the Municipality of Leeuwarden.

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