Werner Van Mechelen - Biography
Versatile Belgian bass-baritone - Werner Van Mechelen has achieved great success in opera as well as in concert as in recital.
Important future engagements
During the coming seasons Werner Van Mechelen is invited to sing Kurwenal TRISTAN UND ISOLDE at the Staatsoper Hamburg and in Bogota, Pandolphe CENDRILLON at the Komische Oper Berlin, Heerrufer LOHENGRIN and Musiklehrer ARIADNE AUF NAXOS at La Monnaie Brussels, Alberich DER RING DES NIBELUNGEN at the Deutsche Oper Berlin ,
Alberich SIEGFRIED with the Tiroler Festspiele Erl, Alberich SIEGFRIED with the HONGKONG Philharmonic Orchestra and Jaap VAN ZWEEDEN
in Hongkong, Wolfram TANNHÄUSER at Saarbrücken, Scarpia TOSCA at Augsburg.
In concert Werner Van Mechelen can be heard in the Requiem (Fauré and Mozart), Deutsches Requiem (Brahms), Petite messe solennelle (Rossini), The Messiah (Handel), Carmina Burana (Orff), Dream of Gerontius (Elgar) in Zürich and Basel, as Christ in the Matthäus-Passion (Bach) in Zürich and also in Lucifer (Peter Benoit) and in De Oorlog / The War (Peter Benoit) with the Royal Flemish Philharmonic in Antwerp.
In recital he wil sing Dichterliebe (Schumann). His new programme with the title LEBENSWANDEL / COURSE OF LIFE will include songs of Schubert, Brahms, Wolf, Mahler and Vaughan Williams.
Focus on the German repertoire of Wagner and R. Strauss
His opera repertoire extends from the Baroque, such as Telemann’s PIMPINONE and Pergolesi’s LIVIETTA E TRACOLLO, to great Mozartian roles like Count Almaviva, Figaro, Guglielmo, Don Alfonso, Don Giovanni, Leporello and Papageno. To this he has added roles from Puccini and Verdi: Michele and Gianni Schicchi in IL TRITTICO, Rigoletto, Amonasro, Ford, Berg’s WOZZECK and world-premieres by composers Philippe Boesmans, Pascal Dusapin, Wim Henderickx and Christian Jost.
Wolfram TANNHÄUSER, Kurwenal TRISTAN UND ISOLDE, Kothner DIE MEISTERSINGER VON NÜRNBERG, Amfortas PARSIFAL.
He has interpreted many times and with great success the role of Alberich DER RING DES NIBELUNGEN at the
Opéra Royal de Wallonie Liège (also shown on the Belgian television channel RTBF),
De Nationale Opera Amsterdam,
Opera Vlaanderen Antwerp-Ghent,
Teatro La Fenice Venice. He sang his first Wotan RHEINGOLD at
the Wagner Festival in Sopot.
Faninal DER ROSENKAVALIER and Musiklehrer ARIADNE OF NAXOS at
the Opéra National du Rhin Strasbourg-Mulhouse, Jochanaan SALOME at the
Opéra Monte-Carlo, Mandryka ARABELLA at
Göteborgs Operan and at the
Opéra Royal de Wallonie Liège.
Belgium and The Netherlands
Werner Van Mechelen has a close relationship with the opera houses of Belgium and The Netherlands.
At La Monnaie Brussels he has sung the title role Berg’s WOZZECK, Nekrotzar Ligeti’s GRAND MACABRE, Sancho Panza Massenet’s DON QUICHOTTE, the Chambellan YVONNE and the older son AU MONDE by Boesmans. Opéra Royal de Wallonie Liège saw him as DON GIOVANNI, Gyges KÖNIG KANDAULES, Karnac ROI D’YS, Fluth LUSTIGE WEIBER VON WINDSOR.
Opera Vlaanderen Antwerp-Ghent invited him for Vater HÄNSEL UND GRETEL, Ford FALSTAFF, Amonasro AIDA, Geisterbote DIE FRAU OHNE SCHATTEN, Amfortas PARSIFAL and Vater/Richter RUMOR by Christian Jost.
At De Nationale Opera Amsterdam he has sung a.o Varlaam BORIS GODUNOV, Tierbändiger/Athlet LULU and Alberich DER RING DES NIBELUNGEN.
Rest of Europe
Furthermore he was invited to the Opéra d’Avignon (Pizarro), the Gran Teatre del Liceu (Nekrotzar GRAND MACABRE and Cecco del Vecchio RIENZI), Theater Basel (Méphistophélès DAMNATION DE FAUST), as well as to the opera houses of Paris, Lyon, Nancy, Zürich, Cologne, Dortmund, Mainz etc.
He has sung under the baton of important Baroque conductors such as Sigiswald Kuijken, Ton Koopman and Marc Minkowski, as well as under Hartmut Haenchen, Lothar Koenigs, Friedemann Layer, Antonio Pappano, Stefan Soltesz, Jeffrey Tate to name some.
Concerts and Lied-recitals
The artist has a particular affection for concerts and Lied-recitals: his concert repertoire extends from BACH JOHANNES-PASSION through romantic works such as ELIAS and BRAHMS DEUTSCHES REQUIEM to the SONG CYCLES and SYMPHONIES of Mahler.
His Lied repertoire includes not only the great SONG CYCLES of Schubert, Schumann and Brahms but also repertoire by less known composers. He has worked with Eric Schneider, Lucas Blondeel and Jozef De Beenhouwer.
Recordings show the large variety of his repertoire: Lied CDs – with works by Schubert, Strauss, Debussy, Poulenc, etc. / Oratorio - Mendelssohn ELIAS / Opera: DON GIOVANNI, LE NOZZE DI FIGARO, LIVIETTA E TRACOLLO (Pergolesi), DIE MEISTERSINGER VON NÜRNBERG and RHEINGOLD. DVD - Lalo LE ROI D’YS / Massenet DON QUICHOTTE / Ligeti LE GRAND MACABRE.
Masterclasses and prizes
Werner Van Mechelen studied at the Lemmens Institute at Leuven with Roland Bufkens. He participated in Masterclasses of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Robert Holl, Mitsuko Shirai, Hartmut Höll and Malcolm King. He gained several international singing prizes, having participated in the prestigious Queen Elisabeth Competition (Brussels), the International Vocalists Competiton (‘s-Hertogenbosch), the International Singing Competition (Toulouse), the Viñas Competition (Barcelona) and the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition.