A contemporary, ecological passion story about the relationship between man and the sea.

In this compelling performance, the musicians of VONK, together with soprano Sterre Konijn and counter-tenor Kaspar Kröner, create a dynamic world on stage. Writer and theatermaker Lisanne van Aert wrote a lyrical and philosophically layered libretto for Nicoline Soeter’s colorful composition. The musicians stand in a light set designed by Floriaan Ganzevoort that evokes an ever-changing environment: from a laboratory to a magical fantasy scene; from a rigid, cold place, to an intimate inner world; a tidal wave or a gentle current.

Listen to The bottom of the sea, the first choir from The Ming Passion:

The Ming Passion is based on a true story. In 2006, it became a real media hype: “Scientists kill oldest living animal ever.” Ming, an ocean quahog clam, or Arctica Islandica, was killed during scientific research. The composition of the annual rings provided information about climate change, such as rising sea temperatures in recent centuries. The shell, along with other clams, was dregded off the coast of Iceland in 2006. Only in the laboratory did researchers find out that Ming was 507 years old at the time of death. The animal was named Ming, in reference to the Ming dynasty in China, during which it was born.

The Ming Passion is a story about whether we can imagine ourselves in the world of a shellfish. Ming’s ecological footprint is a foot in the bottom of the sea. Even though we ourselves consist of 70% water and even a shellfish seems to exhibit behaviors we recognize ourselves in, our boundless need for knowledge does not bring us any closer, a dilemma the scientist in the performance struggles with. Ming symbolizes our relationship with the sea and everything in it.


Composition – Nicoline Soeter

Libretto – Lisanne van Aert

Lightdesign – Floriaan Ganzevoort

Movement plan, theatrical advice – Stijn Dijkema


Soprano – Sterre Konijn

Countertenor – Kaspar Kröner

Bariton and bass clarinet – Erwin Muller

Saxophone – Tom Sanderman

Percussion - Reggy van Bakel

Technician - Dario Giustarini

Practical information:

The light decor is designed so that it can be in any location and we bring the technology ourselves, therefore no grid is needed.