Werner van Mechelen

Category:groep / artiest, muzikant, solist, repertoire
Genre(s):opera, 21ste eeuw / hedendaags, 20ste eeuw, romantiek
Instrument(s):zang (bas), zang (bariton)


The multi-faceted bass-baritone Werner van Mechelen has achieved great success in grand opera as well as concerts and the more intimate Lieder (Art Song).

His opera repertoire extends from the baroque, such as Telemann’s Pimpinone and Tracollo in Pergolesi’s Lievietta e Tracollo, to great Mozartian roles like Count Almavira, 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, Amonasro in Aïda and Ford in Falstaff – not forgetting masterpieces of the 20th century such as Berg’s Wozzeck and new world-creations.

Perhaps the summit of his career to date has been in the German repertoire:

- Wagner: Wolfram in Tannhäuser, Kothner in The Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Amfortas 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 The Ring series: at the Opéra Royal de Wallonie (also shown on the television channel RTBF), the Nederlandse Opera in Amsterdam, the Vlaamse Opera in Antwerp and Ghent, the Fenice at Venice. He sang his first Wotan in Rheingold at the Wagner Festival in Sopot.

- Strauss: Faninal in Rosenkavalier and the Music Director in Ariadne of Naxos at the Opéra du Rhin in Strasbourg, St John in Salome at the Opera of Monte Carlo, Mandryka in Arabella at both the Opera of Göteborg and the Opéra Royal de Wallonie at Liège.

Werner is much in demand in the opera houses of his native Belgium and Holland. At La Monnaie in Brussels he has interpreted the title roles in Berg’s Wozzeck and Ligeti’s Grand Macabre (Nekrotzar), he has also sung the part of Sancho Pansa in Massenet’s Don Quichotte, and the Chambellan of Yvonne de Boesmans. For the Vlaamse Opera, at both Antwerp and Ghent he has interpreted Besenbinder in Humperdink‘s Hansel and Gretel, Ford in Falstaff and Amonasro in AÏda (both Verdi), and Geisterbote in Strauss’s Die Frau ohne Schatten. At the Nederlandse Opera in Amsterdam he has sung Varlaam in Musorsky’s Boris Godunov and both the Tierbändiger and the Athlete in Berg’s Lulu.

Across the rest of Europe, he has sung the roles of Don Pizarro in Beethoven’s Fidelio at the Opéra d’Avignon, continued his acclaimed interpretation of Nekrotzar in Ligeti’s Grand Macabre at the Liceu in Barcelona, as well as in Paris, Zurich, Cologne etc.

He has sung under the baton of important Baroque conductors such as Sigiswald Kuijken, Ton Koopman and Marc Minkowski, as well as the Maestros Hartmut Haenchen, Antonio Pappano, Jeffrey Tate etc.

Werner has a particular affection for concert recitals and also for Lieder:

His concert repertoire extends from Bach’s St John’s Passion through romantic works such as Elias and Brahms’ German Requiem, to those of Mahler and other great (or, in some cases, little known) composers of both the 20th and 21st Century.
His Lieder repertoire is abundant, including not only the great Song Cycles of Schubert, Schumann and Brahms but also, once again, rarely heard works. He is actually accompanied by Josef De Beenhouwer , Lucas Blondeel and Eric Schneider.

Recordings : Lieder CDs – The works of Franz Schubert, Richard Strauss, Claude Debussy, Francis Poulenc, etc. / Oratorio Elias, Mendelssohn / Opera Don Giovanni, The Marriage of Figaro, Livietta e Tracollo (Pergolèse), The Mastersingers of Nuremberg and Rheingold.

DVD - Le Roi d’Ys (Eduard Lalo) / Don Quichotte, Massenet / Le grand Macabre, Ligeti.

Werner van Mechelen studied at the Lemmens Institute at Leuven with Roland Bufkens and has participated in the Masterclasses of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Elisabeth Schwartzkopf, Robert Holl, Mitsuko Shirai, Hartmut Höll and Malcolm King. He has gained several international singing prizes, having participated in the prestigious 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.

Selective discography

Mélodies de VerlaineMélodies de Verlaine (2021)
romanticism, 20th century
Werner van Mechelen, Claude Debussy, Florestan Bataillie, Gabriel Fauré, Desguin Quartet, Reynaldo Hahn
AllerseelenAllerseelen (2015)
Lucas Blondeel, Richard Strauss, Franz Schubert, Werner van Mechelen, Gustav Mahler
A bouquet of forgotten flowersA bouquet of forgotten flowers (2015)
Werner van Mechelen, Georges Lonque, Peter Vanhove, Flor Peeters, Henry Georges d'Hoedt, Prosper Van Eechaute, Lodewijk Mortelmans
A portrait - La Petite BandeA portrait - La Petite Bande (2012)
Baroque, classicism
Sigiswald Kuijken, La Petite Bande, René Jacobs, Werner van Mechelen, Huub Claessens, Donato Di Stefano, Markus Schäfer, Monica Groop (...)
Le grand macabreLe grand macabre (2012)
20th century
Werner van Mechelen, György Ligeti, Michael Boder, Chris Merritt, Inès Moraleda, Frode Olsen, Ning Liang, Barbara Hannigan (...)
La Romance françaiseLa Romance française (2011)
romanticism, 20th century
Werner van Mechelen, Charles Gounod, Inge Spinette, Georges Bizet, Jules Massenet, Gabriel Fauré, Reynaldo Hahn, Françis Poulenc (...)
Massenet Jules - Don QuichotteMassenet Jules - Don Quichotte (2010)
José Van Dam, Marc Minkowski, Jules Massenet, Silvia Tro Santafe, Werner van Mechelen, Koor en Orkest van de Munt
Le roi d'YsLe roi d'Ys (2009)
Werner van Mechelen, Matteo Ricchetti
Bach Johann Sebastian - Johannes-Passion BWV 245Bach Johann Sebastian - Johannes-Passion BWV 245 (2009)
Il Fondamento, Paul Dombrecht, Ian Honeyman, Werner van Mechelen, Greta De Reyghere, Steve Dugardin, Stuart Patterson, Dirk Snellings (...)
Pergolesi Giovanni Battista - La serva patronaPergolesi Giovanni Battista - La serva patrona (2009)
La Petite Bande, Nancy Argenta, Werner van Mechelen, Patricia Biccire, Donato Di Stefano, Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, Sigiswald Kuijken

Selectieve discografie als medewerker

Pascal Dusapin - PenthesileaPascal Dusapin - Penthesilea (2019)
Symfonisch orkest van de Muntschouwburg, Pascal Dusapin, Franck Ollu
De kinderen der zeeDe kinderen der zee (2017)
Lodewijk Mortelmans, Dirk Vermeulen, Württembergische Philharmonie Reutlingen, Peter Aerts, August de Boeck
A bouquet of forgotten flowersA bouquet of forgotten flowers (2015)
Werner van Mechelen, Georges Lonque, Peter Vanhove, Flor Peeters, Henry Georges d'Hoedt, Prosper Van Eechaute, Lodewijk Mortelmans
Peter Benoit - De ScheldePeter Benoit - De Schelde (2014)
Antwerp Symphony Orchestra, Peter Benoit, Martyn Brabbins
André Devaere (1890-1914) - Complete WorksAndré Devaere (1890-1914) - Complete Works (2011)
André Devaere
A guide to period instrumentsA guide to period instruments (2010)
early music, Baroque, romanticism
Diverse uitvoerders