In Between Realities

With Michel van der Aa



In Between Realities

How does technology transform humanity? Do we need a body to be human? In his multidisciplinary work, composer and director Michel van der Aa explores the big themes of our digitised age and contemplates existential questions in the border area between humans, machines and consciousness.


Van der Aa re-energises the world of opera. Whether his VR goggles are on or off, he is always looking towards the future. In Between Realities shows him working on a new music theatre project, crossing the boundaries between remembering and forgetting, reality and unreality, life and death. Together with actors and avatars he forges new paths into the metaverse.


Michel van der Aa
Carin Goeijers
17 min

Discover more about

The Book of Water

The Ammodo Doc In Between Realities offers a behind-the-scenes look into The Book of Water. This musical theater piece is based on the novella Man Performs in the Holocene by Max Frisch, about Geiser, a 73-year-old widower with amnesia.

The adaptation by Michel van der Aa and dramatist Madelon Kooijman puts extra emphasis on the continuous rain and floods that isolate the main character in his home. The play therefore addresses the decline of both the climate and Geiser himself.

The Book of Water premiered on September 19, 2022, at the Venice Biennale.

Click here for upcoming performances 

Portret Michel van der Aa


Michel van der Aa

As a child, Michel van der Aa (1970) used to build labyrinths out of cardboard, complete with intriguing soundscapes. Today, he lets audiences enter alternative worlds in a different way: through his inventive musical, cinematic and digital creations. As a multimedia artist, he brings together various disciplines and leads the classical opera genre into new dimensions.

Van der Aa has received international acclaim and has won many awards, including the Johannes Vermeer Prize (2015) and the International Opera Award for best digital opera (2022) for his production Upload.

You can access Michel van der Aa’s website here