This project is led by opera director Sjaron Minailo as a part of the University of the Underground’s research office and it will mark the kick off of his research revolving around the phenomenological aspects of the concept of Genesis and the impact of an ever-growing assortment of coinciding Geneses. The project will also benefit from tutoring and guidance by dramaturge Ricarda Franzen (University of Amsterdam), MA Design of Experiences’ tutors Teun Castelein, Lauren Alexander and Nelly Ben Hayoun, and is coordinated by designer Sjoerd ter Borg (MA Design of Experiences). It will include masterclasses by guests from the world of opera, visits to the ateliers of the National Opera and visits to rehearsals of Aus Licht and a performance on the Holland Festival.
‘Now the earth is formless and empty’ will bring together Sandberg Instituut and University of the Underground’s research office, the University of Amsterdam (MA International Dramaturgy), Amsterdam Conservatory (Amsterdam Electronic Music Academy) and the Dutch National Opera once again, for the creation of a series of mini-operas exploring an alternative GENESIS as means of reflecting on contemporary socio-political or cultural issues. Which creation narratives need to be told in Amsterdam and beyond? Which musical geneses are going to revolutionize our relationship with music in 2019? Which role can compositional structures play in highlighting social issues? 
The mini-operas will be performed during the Holland Festival 2019 alongside the Dutch National Opera, who will also present a unique staged marathon-performance of Karlheinz Stockhausen’s LICHT cycle. Featuring selected highlights from the seven operas – one for each day of the week – it will offer an overview of Stockhausen’s masterpiece. 
Background to the collaboration between these institutions:
The collaboration between the Dutch National Opera, the Sandberg Instituut, and MA Dramaturgy at the University of Amsterdam was set up in 2017 and was initiated and conceptualized by the MA Design of Experiences at the University of the Underground. In the first project titled ‘Repeat After Me’, 6 performances by the students of the MA Design of Experiences, were staged at the Dutch National Opera house, inspired and guided by Peter Sellars himself as a part of his performance of La clemenza Di Tito. Students’ work was reflecting on institutionalised traumas while making use of reenactments.