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 Klingsor PARSIFAL at the Bayreuther Festspiele , Pandolphe CENDRILLON at the Komische Oper Berlin, Heerrufer LOHENGRIN at La Monnaie Brussels, Wolfram TANNHÄUSER at the Saarländisches Staatstheater Saarbrücken, Pizarro FIDELIO and Alberich RHEINGOLD at the Staatsoper Hamburg.

In concert Werner Van Mechelen can be heard in the Requiem (Verdi), Carmina Burana (Orff), Christ in the Matthäus-Passion (Bach) in the Concertgebouw Amsterdam and also in Hohe Messe (Bach) in Basel.

In recital he wil sing a Schubertiade with Guitar and a recital with songs of Schubert, Mortelmans, Mahler and Strauss.

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.



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.

Richard Strauss

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.

Copyright © 2016 Werner Van Mechelen. All rights reserved.