The opera Bach never wrote

J.S. Bach - The Apocalypse

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J.S. Bach - The Apocalypse J.S. Bach - The Apocalypse

The background

J.S. Bach - The Apocalypse

A brand-new opera with music by Bach tells the story of sixteenth-century radicalised Anabaptists.

Relevant theme in a compelling drama“

For a large part of his life, Bach worked as a church musician. Although he did not compose operas, his work does have a lot of dramatic power. What if he had written an opera? This thought inspired the Netherlands Bach Society and OPERA2DAY to create J.S Bach – The Apocalypse. The successful premiere of the production took place in 2022, during the corona period, for the occasion of our 100th anniversary. This season, the production will be going on tour at last!

The opera tells the true sixteenth-century story of the actor, café owner and tailor Jan van Leiden. He was convinced that the Apocalypse was at hand, and succeeded in convincing many other people of his fundamentalist views. But the utopia he wanted to found turned into a tyrannical state and eventually came to a bad end.

J.S Bach – The Apocalypse paints a picture of these turbulent times through a compelling new text set to Bach’s unforgettable music. The Greek composer Panos Iliopoulos has linked up the Bach works and composed new music where necessary. Besides performances in the Netherlands, the opera will be presented at the BachFest in Leipzig, and in Munster, the city where Jan van Leiden wanted to establish his kingdom. 

The concert

Works and Performance


J.S. Bach – The Apocalypse


OPERA2DAY & Netherlands Bach Society
Serge van Veggel, concept and director
Hernán Schvartzman, conductor
Shunske Sato, idea and musical advisor
Panos Iliopoulos, composer
Thomas Höft, text


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