“The Promise” is a captivating modern song cycle that explores profound themes of identity, origin, motherhood, and the complexities of human relationships in our modern era. Created by the internationally acclaimed Dutch singer-songwriter Wende in collaboration with the Royal Court Theatre and composed together with renowned English composer Isobel Waller-Bridge, “The Promise” creates a rich and diverse musical landscape that seamlessly blends various genres and showcases Wende’s incredibly versatile vocal range. The lyrics, collectively written through workshops by a group of leading female writers associated with the Royal Court Theatre, including EV Crowe, Debris Stevenson, Stef Smith, Somalia Seaton, and Sabrina Mahfouz, delve into themes often overlooked in traditional songbooks, capturing the essence of the female experience. This one-woman musical serves as a powerful testament to the significance of promises in shaping our lives and relationships, highlighting the importance of our own commitment, trust, and resilience in the lifelong journey called self-discovery.
The Song Project is a co-production of Stichting WENDE, the Royal Court Theatre London and International Theater Amsterdam.
Made Possible in part by Fonds Podiumkunsten.
This presentation of THE PROMISE is supported as part of the Dutch Culture USA program of the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in New York.
For the Royal Court: The Song Project.
Singer-songwriter, theatre-maker, chansonnière, actress, performer, music producer, artist-in-residence at the Royal Carré Theatre in Amsterdam: Wende can do it all. With her distinctive voice and healthy disregard for boxes and trends, she tells stories on the cutting edge of who and why.
In 2004 Wende released her debut album of interpretations of a repertoire of French chansons. With her first English-language release No.9 in 2009, Wende repositioned her image as a contemporary singer-songwriter by capturing a new music-loving audience, impressing them with her fresh sound and unique performance style. In 2018 she performed Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht’s The Seven Deadly Sins with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and has performed tracks from her album Last Resistance with the National Opera and Ballet in Amsterdam.
Wende mainly uses her platform for challenging, boundary-breaking projects where language, technology and genre all play dynamic and surprising roles. Her project MENS (HUMAN), a collaboration with Royal Court Associate Designer Chloe Lamford and director Marcus Azzini from Toneelgroep Oostpool, was a raw and controversial image of the times, making use of intoxicating electro beats and open-hearted, vulnerable songs.
In her new project De Wildernis (The Wilderness), which will premiere in Amsterdam in January 2022 and is again in collaboration with Chloe Lamford, Wende looks for answers to questions that we would rather not ask, but that touch our heart, head and gut. Curious, courageous and restless, she goes off the beaten track and shines light on areas where the shadow normally prevails.