Belgian National Orchestra Ensemble – Ernst Van Tiel conductor – Francis Van Broekhuizen soprano – Werner Van Mechelen baritone – Denis Menier choir leader
Ouverture (Candide) Leonard Bernstein
Stille Nacht Franz Xaver Gruber
Kaiser-Walzer, op. 437 Johann Strauss (Jr)
Minuit, Chrétiens Adolphe Adam
Ave, Formosissima (Carmina Burana) Carl Orff
White Christmas Irving Berlin
Perhaps you seek a grimly futuristic psychotic nightmare. 's "Le Grand Macabre" (Arthaus Blu-ray DVD) in its final 1996 version in English from the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, Spain, is your choice. Introduced by a film of a woman overdosing on junk food, the stage set is dominated by her face, hands and bare breasts. Characters sometimes emerge from these various places. Tenor is Piet the Pot, a bloated, debauched Everyman who confronts Nekrotzar (Werner van Mechelen), a recent prophet of the imminent end of the world. Originally conceived in the 1970s, no surprise that along the way we meet Mescalina and Prince Go-Go in this opera.
16) KV 492 (1786) Le Nozze di Figaro (1998 La Coruna Accent) La Petite Bande, Choeur de Chambre de Namur, Sigiswald Kuijken with Huub Claessens, Patrizia Biccire, Werner van Mechelen, Christiane Oelze, Monika Groop, Béatrice Cramoix, Harry van der Kamp, Yves Saelens, Philip Defranq, Jean-Guy Devienne & Marie Kuijken.
As La Fée, Caroline Wettergreen didn’t get a chance to act much (as a little old lady, she was confined to the background) but she sang with bright, very finely defined coloratura. She went a bit out of tune once or twice, but handled the high stuff well. Agnes Zwierko made an amusingly nasty dance mom and was funny without being a caricature. She’s got an imposing, dark sound, though it seemed like it might be low for her. This is a really female-heavy opera, isn’t it? (You might also teach at a women’s college if it took you a really long time to notice this.) The only important dude in this opera , Werner Van Mechelen, was a warm-voiced Pandolfe with very little French style.