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Bake that awesome pie

Why Verbatim Music Theatre

Pitch at Operation Music Theatre, Operadagen Rotterdam 2016.

‘Bake that awesome pie’, is the new music theatre production by Kameroperahuis.

My name is Anna Maria Versloot, I am the writer and director.


Last year, I found sources of modern drama.

I found the source material for ‘Bake that awesome pie’

It was just in front of me on Facebook and Youtube:

A tutorial on ‘how to break open a Parmezan cheese’

And a video log, a vlog, by a young Dutch woman on ‘How to get that lovelife you desire.’

As one of our colleagues said after we showed a work-in-progress:

‘These characters are as dramatic as the most famous opera characters.’

That’s because in their attempt to share their knowledge with us, they unintentionally reveal their inner world.


We are making music theatre from this vlog and tutorial to shine a light on what is hidden under the surface.

How do we do that?

With ‘Bake that awesome pie’ we are introducing Verbatim Music Theatre to Holland.


It’s a technique where speech is precisely being copied by the singers and the composer. Speech has a rhythm, a melody. We copy every accent, stutter, mistake, pause.

That leads to a composition that explores the fascinating open field between speaking and singing.

Ben Lammerts van Bueren is our composer.


Why this Verbatim form?

A human being is not a round character, we are contradictory, and yet, art  demands a way of sculpturing every day life.

I believe Verbatim Music Theatre is an artform that gives this paradox a home.

Singing is a very stylistic act. As a form it is the very opposite of the everyday human being.

As much as I love and breathe music, the stylistic part of it was always problematic for me as a playwright for music theatre, because it distances the realisticity of characters.

The Verbatim technique ables me to capture characters in a virtuoso score, in a tonality, in 16ths, in quintuplets, you name it, while at the same time they remain to sound as unpolished and whimsical as we all do in real life.

Photo credits: Erik Franssen.