opera for young people, based on a libretto by Imme Dros 

This opera for young people was commissioned by Muziektheater Transparant in 2001-2002 in collaboration with
‘Het Paleis’ (Theatre for children) and The Flemish Opera.
The production premiered in 2003 at the Flemish Opera in Antwerp. Later ACHILLEUS was translated into Danish and was performed several times at the Opera in Copenhagen in 2006.

There are 7 voices (soprano, mezzo, tenor, contra tenor, baritone, bass baritone and bass), a children's choir, an instrumental ensemble (flute, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, piano/synthesizer, percussion ,violin, viola, cello, double bass) and electronics.

Everything in this opera is about dealing with conflicts/contradictions, not only regarding the dramatic part of the opera, but all musical parameters are involved.

            People       -     Gods
    Greek-Trojans    -   Ares-Aphrodite
        Victory   -    Defeat (Agitato - Lamento)                     
             Chaos   -    Ordination

In a time where musicals for children were very popular, Wim Henderickx has been searching for an alternative. He tried to write a contemporary work without a patronizing tone or underestimation of the children.
The story is based on the Ilias and the Odyssea with Achilleus as the protagonist.
Making instantly appealing music (a lot of alternations, clear musical atmospheres, a combination of music, theatre, video and electronics) was an important issue while composing and he also used 'Leitmotive’ (making a match with a person or a certain emotion). Optimal clarity of the text by Imme Dros helps to shed light on this complex Greek tragedy.

The electronics consist of manipulated sounds, projected in the room with spatialisation effects.

It's an opera about war and heroes. Achilles, half God half man, personifies the conflicting desires which underly any war: the desire for adventure and glory and at the same time for a peaceful and happy life. Achilles shows us the truth about war: there are no winners, only losers (Imme Dros).


 Ares and Afrodite

Wilfried Van den Brande as Ares and Joannette Zomer as Aphrodite





Opera Achilleus


Norsk Musikforlag (publisher)


opera for young people, based on a libretto by Imme Dros
commissioned by Music Theatre Transparant
(+/- 75’)
7 singers (soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor, baritone, bass baritone, bass, countertenor)
children’s choir
Instrumentation: fl (+picc, alto fl), alto sax (+bar.sax) / tpt, tbn/perc (1 pl.) / pno (+synth.) / vln, vla, vlc, db / electronics
first performance: March 14, 2003, Vlaamse Opera, Antwerp
orchestra and children’s choir of the Flemish Opera, cond. Michel Tilkin
Joannette Zomer, soprano, 
Corinne Romijn, mezzo, 
Kor-Jan Dusseljee, tenor, 
Quirijn de Lang, baritone, 
Huub Claessens, bass baritone, 
Wilfried Van den Brande, bass, 
Jonathan De Ceuster, countertenor