From classical music by the sea to roaring motor bikes and from lovely photos of the Dutch royal family to poets reading their own work, here’s our pick of the best things to do in June.
Hear the slap of canvas in the sea breezeThe Round Texel Race is the world’s largest catamaran race with around 500 single and double-handed catamarans taking part. There is also kite surfing and raceboard slalom competitions during the four-day event. Mandy Mulder and Coen de Koning are defending their titles from last year, ahead of competing at the Rio Olympics in August.
De Koog, Texel, June 25. www.roundtexel.com
Check out the very latest in the performing arts
This annual cultural festival offers a broad scope of international performing arts, and features both established names and new talent. It continues to innovate, exploring new forms of theatre and new types of venue, such as staging performances in public spaces. Already scheduled for this edition are The Cure (photo) and The Corridor, two chamber operas created by Harrison Birtwistle and David Harsent, each of which riffs on death and the restoration of youth. They are performed by soprano Elizabeth Atherton and tenor Mark Padmore with the London Sinfonietta. There are also performances of Simon McBurney’s The Encounter by Complicite, Louis Andriessen’s Theatre of the World by the National Opera and Nelken by Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch.
Various locations, Amsterdam, June 4 to 26. www.hollandfestival.nl
Join the circus that is the Parade
De Parade consists of a large number of colourful tents which travel the four main cities throughout the summer. Most of the tents offer performances of music, theatre, dance, opera and mime, while others are restaurants or cafes. Whatever the weather, the circus-like atmosphere is a real treat. And with performances taking between three and forty minutes, it’s easy to fit in several each evening. Many are in Dutch, but there are a number of shows in English or without words. The line-up varies from city to city so check the website for who’s on where.
Museum Park, Rotterdam, June 23 to July 3; Westbroek Park, The Hague, July 8 to 17; Moreelse Park, Utrecht, July 22 to August 7; Martin Luther King Park, Amsterdam, August 12 to 28. www.deparade.nl
Rock around the clock
The annual outdoor pop festival presents a line-up of international artists on several stages. The first headliners to be announced were the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Rammstein. Closing the event is Paul McCartney, who is making his first appearance at a Dutch festival. ‘I love a festival audience and we plan to close Pinkpop with a massive party,’ McCartney says on the Pinkpop website. Other confirmed acts include Lionel Richie, Skunk Anasie, James Bay, Years and Years and The Common Linnets.
Landgraf, Heerlen, June 10, 11 and 12. www.ticketmaster.nl
See Dutch royals as you’ve never seen them before
A selection of the photos taken by Vincent Mentzel (1945), formerly in-house photographer of national newspaper NRC. Mentzel photographed the royal family for over thirty years at official functions and during state visits, but also during less formal occasions. The photos date from the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s when access to the royal family was much looser than it is now. Mentzel took a walk with Prince Claus during a visit to Pakistan. In China he went shopping with Princess Juliana’s best friend. Such access is unthinkable these days.
Paleis Het Loo, Apeldoorn until August 21. www.paleishetloo.nl
Thrill to the roar of motor bikes
The TT at Assen is the 7th race in the Grand Prix series for motor bikes. This is the first year the TT has been held on a Sunday, making a long weekend of two days of qualifications before the climactic showdown. The MotoGP with riders such as Valentino Rossi, Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo is the highlight of the Dutch TT. But fans will also enjoy the battles of the Moto2 and Moto3 classes.
Drenthe Circuit, Assen, June 24 to 26. www.ttcircuit.com
Keep a handkerchief handy
Journalist, writer and academic Ian Buruma talks about his new book, Their Promised Land: My Grandparents in Love and War. It is an account of a love sustained through the terror and separation of two world wars and the thousands of love letters sent in the darkest hours of the century. According to The New York Times Book Review, it is ‘a wholly understanding, moving account of what it meant to be Jewish and English in one of the most troubled times of the last century. Buruma’s voyage into the past is a warning as well as a celebration of lost lives.’
Check John Adams Institute website for location, June 29. www.john-adams.nl
Listen to great poetry
The annual festival of poetry features readings of noteworthy works by ground-breaking great masters and new and original poetic talents from around the world. Among those reading their poetry at this year’s festival are Raúl Zurita from Chile, who is considered the greatest living Latin American poet, the young Italian Laura Accerboni and Jeet Thayil from India. There are also films, music, interviews and masterclasses.
Schouwburg, Rotterdam, June 7 to 11. www.poetryinternationalweb.net
Watch a man lose everything
Tchaikovsky composed Pique Dame during a period of turmoil in his life and the result is a compelling drama full of stirring music. Director Stefan Herheim brings an exciting visualisation to this story of gambling and love which stars Misha Didyk in the main role of Herman. The conductor is Mariss Jansons.
Muziektheater, Amsterdam, June 9, 12 (matinee), 15, 18, 21, 24, 27, 30 and July 3. www.operaballet.nl
Enjoy the classics by the sea
The annual festival which makes classical music fun by keeping concerts short – none lasts more than one hour – and holding them in surprising venues moves from The Hague to the nearby coastal resort of Scheveningen. Among the highlights is a celebration of the festival’s 10th anniversary for which ten pianists will simultaneously play on five grand pianos Canto Ostinato by Dutch composer Simeon ten Holt. Also on the programme are the Hofstads Youth Orchestra playing Tchaikovsky’s 5th symphony, Antony Hermus conducting the Residentie Orchestra in a programme of well-known opera highlights, and performances of the musical Singin’ In The Rain.
Kurhaus and other venues, Scheveningen, June 10 to 19. www.festivalclassique.nl