A Path of Growth and Development
Werner Van Mechelen has achieved great success in opera as well as in concert as in recital.
The multi-faceted bass-baritone Werner Van Mechelen has achieved great success in opera as well as in concerts and as a recital singer.
In summer 2017 Werner Van Mechelen made his debut at the Bayreuth Festival in the role of Klingsor in PARSIFAL with re invitations in 2019 for Hans Sachs in a short version of DIE MEISTERSINGER. In 2020 and 2021 he is invited to the Bayreuth festival to sing the role of Kothner in die MEISTERSINGER.
In the first half of 2019 the artist sang the main role in Ligeti’s Gran Macabre with the NDR Hamburg under the baton of Alan Gilbert in the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg. At the Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse he had been invited for «Music teacher» in a new production of ARIADNE AUF NAXOS.
Future engagements include: Monk in DON CARLOS in the opening premiere oft he new directior of the Vlaamse Opera Antwerp, Beethovenconcerts with Le concert Olympique, Beethoven 9th SINFONIE in Malaga, RHEINGOLD Alberich at the Saarländischen Staatstheater Saarebruck, PARSIFAL Amfortas at the Hamburg Staate Opera, RHEINGOLD and GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG Alberich at the Leipzig Opera as well as the titelrole in Verdi’s FALSTAFF at La Monnaie, Bruxelles.
Guest appearances have also taken him recently as Alberich in THE RING DES NIBELUNGEN to the Deutsche Oper Berlin and the Hamburg State Opera, as Wolfram in TANNHÄUSER to the Saarländisches Staatstheater Saarbrücken, as Heerrufer in LOHENGRIN at La Monnaie in Brussels, to the Hamburg State Opera as Don Pizarro in FIDELIO , as Alberich in SIEGFRIED at the Tyrolean Festival Erl and at the Komische Oper Berlin as Pandolphe in Massenet’s CENDRILLON.
In addition, Werner Van Mechelen is also very successful in the concert field: For example as a guest of the Freiburg Bach Choir for Bach’s CHRISTMAS ORATORIUM. For the celebrations marking the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War Werner Van Mechelen has put together a song program IN FLANDERS FIELDS that reminds of this historical event under the motto “No more war”.
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.
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 Liègesaw 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.
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.
The artist has a particular affection for concerts and Lied-recitals: his concert repertoireextends 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.
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.