Performances and projects:

2012-16©MIA MadeInAmsterdam

"The theater - as we know it - originates from the Greek Civilization, and Opera most of all”, says Schellen.“The Greek theater criticized the shortcomings of our life style and so does opera.

If we want to understand how and why this is done, we need to have a fundamental knowledge of our history. We will see that the human race has not changed a bit and therefore all human behavior as we see it in the opera, has to do with NOW. The Important partner in the theater is the audience. And the audience is always NOW. That makes all our theatrical products so unbelievably exciting!

I think that opera teaches us that despite all the changes in our daily lives, with ever-increasing technology, mankind doesn't essentially change much. And it's good to laugh at ourselves. We should always laugh, and be reflective on our human emotions.


Schellen's enduring passion for opera has led to a career spanning more than four decades (1969-present).

Born in the Netherlands, Schellen was Managing Director and later Associate General Director of Netherlands Opera for eighteen years; three years General/Artistic and interim Director of the Municipal Theater and Concert Hall in Enschede/NL; three years General Interim Director of the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam; three years General & Artistic Director of Indianapolis Opera.

He accepted the position of Director of Opera Theater at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff/AZ/USA since August 2000 and is a tenured Associate Professor at NAU since 2006. In addition he has been an opera stage director since 1979. He retired in spring 2015.

His directing debut took place in 1982 with Die Zauberflöte at the International Holland Festival, collaborating with the Teatro Comunale in Bologna/Italy. Since then, he has directed numerous operas in Europe, United States and Canada.

Because We Remember Them:

World War II and the Holocaust in the Arts

A commemoration through personal accounts, music, dance, film, and drama.

The event on May 2, 2015, organized by Deborah Raymond, Associate Professor of Voice at NAU, included music and drama by composers and authors who lived in the Nazi camp in Terezin, Czechoslovakia (and were later deported); as well as commentary from NAU Director of Opera Theatre Nando Schellen, who spent his childhood in the Netherlands and Belgium during the war.

Works by Erwin Schulhoff, Viktor Ullmann, Gideon Klein, Pavel Haas, Vitezslav Horpatsky,Felix Prokes, Mauel Chebsky, Leo Strauss, Myra Strauss-Gruhenberg, Ellwood Derr, Ilse Weber, were performed.

Flagstaff in Fidenza 2016
has been cancelled



Back in 2016

'Così fan tutte' by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Northern Arizona University College of Arts and Letters, School of Music, in Collaboration with the City of Fidenza (PR), Italy presents: Summer International Opera & Concert Festival.

Where: Fidenza (PR) and other surrounding communities in Northern Italy


Nando Schellen, Artistic Director

• Romano Franceschetto, Associate Artistic Director

Deborah Raymond, Associate Artistic Director/Program Coordinator

Nearly four weeks of intensive vocal technique, coaching, and performance in Opera, Art Song, and Oratorio.

International Faculty from the United States, Canada, Italy and the Netherlands. 

Performances in beautiful theaters, churches, and other venues in Fidenza, Parma, Salsomaggiore, Busseto, and Carpi.

Program for 2016:

Così fan tutte by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, fully staged in Italian with professional orchestra. (two performances)

Opera scenes in original languages will be chosen from the participating singers’ requests and abilities.

(Click here for Details on How to Apply page)

Spring 2015:
Le nozze di Figaro

(Figaro’s Wedding - NAU’s ‘Marriage of Figaro’)

By W.A. Mozart and Lorenzo da Ponte
Performances April 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 2015
In Italian with English super titles
At Ardrey Memorial Auditorium on Campus NAU

"Mozart’s and Da Ponte’s brilliant setting focuses upon the universal human foibles that so often intrigued the composer – marital infidelity, jealousy, tension between aristocracy and the working man, and frequently complex relationships between men and women.

Nando continually advises his singers that “it all comes from the music. Mozart tells you all you need to know.” This excellent advice is manifest in the fully realized scope of this fine production… Each member of the cast deserves to be proud of significant accomplishments which will support them in whatever musical pursuits lie in the future.

Charles Spining

Fidenza 2013

Flagstaff in Fidenza Facebook Page



Auditions for Flagstaff in Fidenza's 2016 season:

"The devoted, attentive, and caring faculty took us hand by hand through the delicate and profound process of creation.

With tremendous patience, each singer received the most detailed supportive personal guidance.

During the course of a month one could easily sense the development and growth of the participants on the richly knowledgeable and supportive ground that the faculty has created.

Shiri Hershkovitz 2013

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