To overcome his fear and perform on stage in a production of the Dutch National Opera, tenor Frank Engel slides into his other self, the one where he is also a boxer. As he enters the stage and knocks himself out, he is finally able to star as the embattled protagonist in Peter Grimes.
The Boxer is part of the Dutch National Opera’s You don’t know opera campaign, designed to draw in a new, younger audience. Director Ruben van Leer takes tenor Frank Engel as his lead character, based on Frank’s background as a boxer. What is real and what’s not? Peter Grimes, one of the 20th Century’s most famous operas, is about an individual under attack from the collective. He needs to stand up for himself, as does Frank, who is battling himself. If The Boxer feels like a trailer for something larger, you’re right. Ruben is planning on expanding the narrative into a short film.