Clement & Sanôu are an Amsterdam based artist duo known for creating notable designs for leading performances and exhibitions at Dutch National Opera and Ballet, Theater an der Wien and The Royal Danish Opera. They have also designed exhibitions, for Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum and elsewhere. Their work has received praise for its poetic quality, and has frequently been described as ‘ein Gesamtwerk’, with a strong foundation in both landscape design and in conceptual art.
Collaborating as Clement & Sanôu since 2004, Eddy van der Laan and Pepijn Rozing focus in their work on creating a synergy between all visual elements to a stage production - from scenography to costume design to lighting design. Rooting their work in a dramaturgical concept developed collaboratively with directors, choreographers, curators or producers, Clement & Sanôu aim to create comprehensive audience experiences.
We think of design as more than creating sets: we think of it as transforming spaces into environments which move characters and where characters move the audience. At the heart of our work is a playful interrogation of scripts and libretti, bending and twisting them and approaching them from unorthodox angles we get to their heart, and translate this heart into innovative, layered designs.
We place great emphasis on psychology, on rendering characters rich in detail in outstanding costumes. In both opera and theatre, we are drawn to the dramatic potential of transition, both literally on a level of stagecraft, and metaphorically for its power as an element that heightens narrative development. We emphasize the power of transition through transformative thinking about stage, costume and lighting design.
Clement & Sanôu are living on love, art, storytelling, and craftsmanship (and a lot of coffee and vinyl).
Clement and Sanôu have worked with different directors such as Pierre Audi, Lotte de Beer, Ted Brandsen (choreography), Ted Huffman, Michiel Dijkema, Johan Doesburg, Jim Lucassen, Robert Nemack, Marcel Sijm, and Teunkie van der Sluijs.
Their productions includes The new prince by Mohammed Fairouz (Dutch National Opera), Traviata Remixed by G. Verdi/Moritz Eggert (Operafront and Theater a/d Wien in der Kammeroper), Mata Hari by Tarik O' Reagan (Dutch National Ballet), Orphée aux enfers by J. Offenbach (Opéra National de Lorraine), Hänsel und Gretel by E. Humperdinck (Dutch National Opera), Boulevard Solitude by H.W. Henze (Royal Danish Opera Copenhagen), Rusalka by A. Dvorak (Aalto Theater Essen), Blauwdruk voor een nog beter leven by Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer (Het Nationale Theater), Tristan und Isolde by Wagner (Theater Regensburg), Così van tutte by W.A. Mozart (Staatstheater Braunschweig), La Boheme by Puccini (Theater a/d Wien in der Kammeroper), Waiting for Miss Monroe by R. de Raaff (Dutch National Opera), L'Orpheo by Monteverdi (Opera Studio Nederland).
Their work has played in theatres throughout Europe and festivals like Holland Festival, Opera Forward Festival, The Münchner Biennale, The Gergiev festival, Oerol and the Grachtenfestival Amsterdam.
In 2016, we were commissioned by the Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam for the exhibition design of EASY VIRTUE in collaboration with Musée d'Orsay. With great passion, fun and a fantastic team we were able to transform the museum’s exhibition space into a sculptural and sensual environment.
You can make your debut at the Dutch National Opera only once a lifetime. Ours was on 9 June 2012 with the world premiere of Waiting for Miss Monroe by Robin de Raaff.
Operafront was founded in 2011 by director Lotte de Beer, Clement & Sanôu and Kirsten Visser. Our name sounds somewhat warlike. That’s because we’re ready to fight: we want to fight to give opera a right of existence in the 21st century, by telling the stories of the old masterpieces in a language that is understood by audiences of today. Link: www.operafront.com
Behind every great design duo, there’s a team of supporting members:
Valkenberg & Janssen (graphic and interactive design), Wessel de Groot (photography), Vera Selhorst (assistant stage & costume design), Sanne Oostervink (assistant stage & costume design), Anne de Jongh (assistant stage & costume design).
We are very grateful for their professionalism, support, humour and dedication to our studio.