In summer 2017 Werner Van Mechelen made his debut at the Bayreuth
Festival with outstanding success in the role of Klingsor in Wagner’s PARSIFAL.
The multi-faceted bass-baritone Werner Van Mechelen has achieved great
success in opera as well as in concerts and as a recital singer.
Recently he sang a Alberich in RING CYCLES at the Deutsche Oper Berlin as
well as Wolfram in TANNHÄUSER at the Saarbruck State Theatre.
During the coming seasons he is invited for Heerrufer in LOHENGRIN at the
Théâtre de la Monnaie, Brussels, Don Pizarro in FIDELIO and Alberich in
RHEINGOLD and SIEGFRIED at the Hamburg State Opera, Alberich in
SIEGFRIED at the Erl Festival and Pandolphe in Massenet’s CENDRILLON at the
Komische Oper Berlin. Apart from his opera productions he will sing Golaud in
PELLEAS ET MELISANDE in a version with two pianos (CD recording) and he
will prepare Schubert’s WINTERREISE with guitar. Further he is invited for
concerts with Orff’s CARMINA BURANA in Bruxelles, Bach’s b-minor Mass in
Basle, for VERDI REQUIEM and for the CHRISTMAS ORATORIO in Freiburg.
His lyric repertoire extends from the baroque repertoire to great Mozart roles
like Count Almaviva, Figaro, Don Alfonso, Don Giovanni, Leporello and
Papageno, to German and Italian repertoire, including Michele and Gianni
Schicchi in Puccini’s Il TRITTICO, Scarpia in TOSCA, Amonasro in AIDA and
Ford in FALSTAFF – not forgetting masterpieces of the 20th century such as
Berg’s Wozzeck and many world-creations.
A focus is on the german repertoire of Wagner and Strauss:
Wagner: Wolfram in TANNHÄUSER, Kothner in DIE MEISTERSINGER VON
NÜRNBERG, Amfortas and Klingsor in PARSIFAL as well as Kurwenal in
TRISTAN UND ISOLDE. He has interpreted many times and with great success
the role of Alberich in Wagner’s RING CYCLE: at the Opéra Royal de Wallonie
(broadcasted on RTBF), the Nationale Opera, Amsterdam, the Vlaamse
Opera, Antwerp and Ghent, the Teatro la Fenice in Venice. He sang his first
Wotan in RHEINGOLD at the Wagner Festival in Sopot. At the Hamburg State
Opera and in Bogota he was Kurwenal in TRISTAN UND ISOLDE.
Strauss: Faninal in DER ROSENKAVALIER and Musiklehrer in ARIADNE OF
NAXOS at the Opéra du Rhin, Strasbourg, Jochanaan in SALOME at the Opera
Monte Carlo, Mandryka in ARABELLA at Göteborgs Operan and at the Opéra
Royal de Wallonie, Liège.
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Werner Van Mechelen has a close relationship to the opera houses of Belgium and Holland. At La Monnaie, Brussels he
has sung the title role in Berg’s WOZZECK, Nekrotzar in Ligeti’s GRAND MACABRE, Sancho Pansa in Massenet’s DON
QUICHOTTE, the Chambellan YVONNE and the older son in AU MONDE by Boesmans. The Vlaamse Opera, Antwerp
invited him for Besenbinder in HANSEL AND GRETEL, Ford in FALSTAFF, Amonasro in AIDA, Geisterbote in DIE FRAU
OHNE SCHATTEN and Amfortas in PASIFAL. At the Nederlandse Opera in Amsterdam he has sung a.o Varlaam in BORIS
GODUNOV, Tierbändiger / Athlet in Lulu and Alberich in the RING CYCLE.
Furthermore he was invited to the Opéra d’Avignon (Pizarro), the Gran teatro del Liceu (Nekrotzar), the Augsburg
Opera (Scarpia / TOSCA) as well as to the opera houses of Paris, Zürich, Cologne etc.
Werner Van Mechelen has sung under the baton of conductors like: Hartmut Haenchen, Sigiswald Kuijken, Ton
Koopman, Antonio Pappano, Marc Minkowski, Bernhard Kontarsky, Gabriel Feltz, Patrick Davin, Jeffrey Tate, Silvio
Varviso, Franck Ollu, Stefan Soltesz, Gustav Kuhn, Alexander Joel, Donald Runnicles, Eliahu Inbal, Kent Nagano, Alain
Altinoglu und Jaap van Zweden and many important stage directors like Laurent Pelly, Oliver Py, Jean Louis Grinda,
Damiano Michieletto, Georges Delnon , Guy Joosten, Ivo van Hove, Uwe Eric Laufenberg, Robert Carsen, Tatjana
Gürbaca, Pierre Audi, Götz Friedrich, Lorenzo Fioroni, David Freeman und Joël Pommerat.
The artist has a particular affection for concerts and Lied- recitals: His concert repertoire extends from BACH’S ST
JOHN’S PASSION through romantic works such as ELIJAH and BRAHMS REQUIEM, to the SONG CYCLES and
SYMPHONIES of Mahler and to composers of the 20th and 21st Century.
His Lied repertoire includes not only the great SONG CYCLES of Schubert, Schumann and Brahms but also repertoire by
less known composers. He worked with pianists like Eric Schneider, Lucas Blondeel and Jozef De Beenhouwer.
Werner Van Mechelens recordings show the large variety of his repertoire: Lied CDs – with works by Franz Schubert,
Richard Strauss, Claude Debussy, Francis Poulenc, etc. / Oratorio: ELIJAH, Mendelssohn / Opera: DON GIOVANNI, LE
NOZZE DI FIGARO, LIVIETTA E TRACOLLO (Pergolesi), DIE MEISTERSINGER VON NÜRNBERG and RHEINGOLD.
DVD- LE ROI D’YS (Eduard Lalo) / DON QUICHOTTE, Massenet / LE GRAND MACABRE (György Ligeti) and STRADELLA
(César Franck) Furthermore there are CDs with recordings of Flemish composers like Lodewijk Mortelmans and Peter
Werner van Mechelen made his studies at the Lemmens Institute at Leuven with Roland Bufkens and has participated
in master classes of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Robert Holl, Mitsuko Shirai, Hartmut Höll and
Malcolm King. He has been awarded with several international prizes the Queen Elisabeth Prize (Brussels), the
International Vocalists Competiton (‘s-Hertogenbosch), the International Singing Competition (Toulouse), the Vinas
Competition (Barcelona) and the Cardiff Singer of the World Competition.