This week, Tuesday 4th of June, we celebrated the world premiere of ‘Eight’ at the Holland Festival in Amsterdam! With an almost complete team we took the time to raise a glass and look back on the 2-year journey we made together.

We are very proud to finally be able to show the project to the public.

'EIGHT' VR Opera: A trailblazing fusion of musical theatre and virtual reality.

‘Eight’ is a mixed reality project by the composer and director Michel van der Aa, featuring singer-songwriter Kate Miller-Heidke and the Nederlands Kamerkoor. Van der Aa has collaborated with designer Theun Mosk and The Virtual Dutch Men to create a unique, groundbreaking fusion of musical theatre, VR and visual art.

‘‘Eight’ Is a Breakthrough for Virtual Reality in Classical Music’
‘Sprookjesachtige landschappen maken dat je je een soort Alice in Wonderland voelt, die telkens wordt herboren op een andere adembenemende plek.’
‘Met de VR-installatie Eight omhult componist Michel van der Aa zijn toehoorders met een complete wereld’

VR Production

The production of ‘EIGHT’ took nearly two years. The first test sessions were already in 2017 where we started investigating multiple challenges in the project. During 2018 we did more tests and showed an early demo to stakeholders from different festivals and grant parties.

At the end of 2018 we started the production and worked together with specialists like Th3rd for the 3D scanning of the characters and Mr. Ivo Slivkov for the motion capture.
We are extremely happy with the result and the feedback. Most of the technology that is currently in use – a Wireless HTC Vive Pro with Leap Motion for hand tracking – wasn’t even available when we started the project. At the start it was not even possible to walk around freely in a 10 x 10 meter space with wired VR glasses. These innovations helped us create a more profound experience with an immersive end result.

VR installation

‘EIGHT’ can be experienced while roaming an interactive VR installation. The total size of the entire installation is about 10 x 15 metres, giving the public an area in which they can roam freely of about of 8 x 8 metres between set pieces, with a stretched canvas which one can interact with.

One person can experience ‘EIGHT’ every 15 minutes. The festivals where ‘EIGHT’ is presented suggest people book a reservation for one or more timeslots.

For more information about ‘EIGHT’ or you want to visit the experience, visit

Reactions of the public

The reactions of the public are amazing. The combination of the intense composition of Michel van der Aa with the ‘breathtaking’ visual spectacle makes people feel they have been immersed in an entire different world.

‘Michel van der Aa blijft de wereld verbazen’
‘‘Eight’ is belangrijk pionierswerk én een ongekende belevenis.’
‘‘Decor, muziek en uitvoering zijn oor- en oogstrelend, het is technologisch ongelooflijk knap wat Van der Aa en zijn team presteren.’
‘Echt contact maken via virtual reality’
‘Wakker in een droom.’
You’re surrounded by darkness – a path on the floor is the only thing you can make out. You hear footsteps; an old woman comes walking towards you. Her hand reaches for the wall, it bends with her touch and stretches out into a curved hallway. When you follow the woman around the corner, you suddenly find yourself face to face with her younger self.