Past Shows


Artist’s Praise

Beautiful emotions capture the viewer in this setting. It’s a revelation, Secrets is a touching show to share as widely as possible.
— Dan Renier,

In total, an hour of pure happiness: a personal and deeply original musical journey, nourished by four strong personalities in total empathy.
— Claude Loxhay, Jazz Halo

McFadden is both storyteller and singer…she finds the right expression for each song to lead us through this secret world.
— Karel Van Keymeulen, De Standaard

Musically speaking, ‘Secrets’ is a delight. McFadden is a fantastic vocalist with a broad range and her scat and percussive singing are also phenomenal. Instrumentally there is a lot of feeling for detail and the trio sometimes sounds like an orchestra.
— Erno Elsinga , Jazzenzo

  • share this

About the Show

US Premiere
January 13 at 7pm and January 14 at 12pm & 5pm

At National Sawdust

In Secrets, the soprano Claron McFadden and the band source hundreds of anonymous testimonies from the general public and audience members to craft a personal and intense experience. A musical and visual mosaic in which Claron McFadden, singing, whispering and laughing, merges sorrowful, mischievous and cynical passages into one another. Secrets poetically reveals how hidden thoughts link us all together. Claron McFadden and the trio give each secret its own rhythm and musicality: melancholy, restrained, heart-rending or playful.  Each individual secret has a universal dimension. The trio has for years been exploring the boundaries between chamber music, jazz and melancholically tinged tapestries of sound, eschewing neither experiment nor improvisation. In their collaboration with Claron McFadden, their delight in playing creates sparks on stage.

Concept Claron McFadden
Dramaturge Tobias Kokkelmans

Vocals Claron McFadden
Chromatic Accordion
Tuba & Trombone

Production Manager
Annik Laurelle
General Manager Guy Coolen
Video & Lighting Designer Peter Quasters

Produced by Muziektheater Transparant and Aventura Musica and co-produced by JazzLab Series and Operadagen Rotterdam. This project has received funding through a grant from the Netherlands-America Foundation.


Co-Presented with National Sawdust

Submit Your Secret by clicking here. All responses will remain anonymous, and a selection of secrets will be chosen and performed at PROTOTYPE 2018.

Show run time: 90 minutes

Photo by Marco Mertens

Artist Bio

Claron McFadden (Creator & Vocals) After her studies at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, soprano Claron McFadden became as big a name in both the Baroque as the traditional and modern repertoire. She worked with conductors Sir Andrew Davis, Frans Brüggen and Etienne Siebens, amongst others. In the opera world, McFadden is a much sought-after soloist. Important parts she sang include the title role in Lulu at the opera house Glyndebourne, the role of Zerbinetta in the Nationale Opera production of Ariadne auf Naxos and many Händel roles at various opera houses and festivals, like the title role in Semele at the tenth edition of Opera Days Rotterdam. She participated in several projects that combined other art forms, like Alain Platel’s Pitié, the David Kweksilber Big Band and different projects with Muziektheater Transparant (including Over de Bergen, Lilith).  In 2006 she was awarded the Amsterdam Prize for the Arts. McFadden has been nominated for a Grammy Award, she is known for her unique interpretation of contemporary music  and has a lot of world premières to her credit, by Michel van der Aa, Wolfgang Rihm and Joerg Widman, amongst others. Her TEDx talk in 2010 was selected to be shown on the prestigious TED-website.

Muziektheater Transparant (Producer). Going from the artistic and social topicality, production house Muziektheater Transparant enters into an intensive dialogue with artists from various disciplines and wants to create, renew and present musical-theatre in its entire diversity for a wide audience. The voice is placed firmly at the centre of the projects, and it continually blends the old and the new. Also other disciplines like visual arts, film, video, graphics are integrated in the productions. The company pays particular attention to offering contemporary musicians the chance to develop and try new work. It works with composers like Wim Henderickx and Annelies Van Parys. Transparant is internationally active and has performed at many festivals, including the Salzburger Festspiele, Edinburgh International Festival, the Holland Festival, the KunstenfestivaldesArts and at several European Capitals of Culture. This variety of shows, artists and production methods gives Muziektheater Transparant a unique national and international character.

Artist Statement

Claron McFadden, Concept & Vocals

Secrets is a music-theatre piece formed entirely with secrets, anecdotes. and thoughts entrusted to us anonymously by everyday people.

What are secrets?

Why do we need them?

Why can't we keep them?

How often have we heard, or said to another person: "Can I let you in on a secret? I'll die if I don't share it, but you mustn't tell anyone!" I asked myself if secrets only really exist from the moment they are "voiced" to another person in a kind of "ritual of complicity", this pact of trust, which is doomed to be broken repeatedly, and what would happen if we asked people to allow us to give a voice to their private stories? The answer came in the form of over 130 anonymous gifts, many of them from Senior citizens who were unable to come to the places where we had left "Secrets" boxes, but who dictated their stories to others whom they trusted. We also opened a secure website where people could write their stories. From first kisses, to feelings of guilt, loss and rage, to unique fetishes, all the stories are at once individual and universal, because one can relate to all of them on some emotional, intellectual or spiritual level. Each secret has a specific rhythm and musicality and we create a musical setting for each secret with respect for its own character. The secret itself tells us how it wishes to be "voiced"...