Concert of Prize Winners of Vocal Competition a Convincing Success

The fourth International Vocal Competition in Den Bosch concluded with the habitual concert in the Casino-Theatre, on Sunday evening. The four second-prize winners sang accompanied by the Brabant Orchestra, conducted by André Rieu sr (father of the now famous waltz conductor André Rieu sr). The program mainly consisted of opera fragments. Mozart predominated with one overture and four arias. In addition there were two Verdi arias and an overture by Rossini. With only two oratorio arias included, A. v/d. B. In an unknown paper judged that the concert was therefore largely operatic in atmosphere. He also noticed that, perhaps due to the nature of a competition, the repertoire was restricted and one-sided. However:

‘This was no objection to make this concert for them a convincing success. Valerie Cardnell, the British soprano, attracted attention by her musicality, but still more by her fair voice, which makes us think of a serene boy’s voice by the young clear tone. Therefore, the aria of the Queen of the Night, we are sorry to say, appeared to be a wrong choice. Derek Stroud has a subtle baritone, sings intelligently and in an intensely musical way. Especially in the Leporello aria from Don Giovanni he proved to be an excellent Mozart singer. The rough bass voice of Ranken Bushby sounded somewhat dry. His technical ability he demonstrated especially in the Händel aria, while the voice aria, too, showed him an opera singer with a future in front of him. The singing of Maria van Dongen convinced us of a highly musical taste. She has a sensitive voice with many shades. The middle notes especially are of an exceptional beauty. Her aria from Don Carlos was really the culminating point and the triumphal conclusion of the vocal part.

The orchestra, which began with the less fortunate rendering of the Zauberflöte overture, further accompanied the whole evening in a musical and artistic way. Rieu conducted the whole with admirable fluidity and souplesse, with which he proved to be an excellent opera conductor as well. Notwithstanding the fact that only second prizewinners made their appearance, the concert as a whole was on a higher plan than that of last year. The spontaneous applause, swelling to an ovation for all cooperators at the end, proved not only the enthusiasm of the numerous public, but also that in ’s Hertogenbosch the atmosphere and milieu are ideal for similar concerts.’


SEPTEMBER 22, 1957
Brabants Orkest conducted by André Rieu Sr.

1   Mozart Die Zauberflöte 'Overture'
2 Maria van Dongen Mozart Die Zauberflöte 'Ach, ich fühl es'
3 Derek Stroud Mozart Cosi fan tutte ‘Donne miei’
4 Valerie Cardnell Mozart Die Zauberflöte ‘Der Hölle rache’
5 Ranken Bushby Händel Judas Maccabeus ‘The Lord worketh wonders’
6   Rossini La gazza ladra ‘Overture’
Derek Stroud Mozart Don Giovanni ‘Madamina, il catalogo è questo’
Ranken Bushby Verdi Un ballo in maschera ‘Eri tu’
Valerie Cardnell Mendelssohn Elias ‘Höret Israël’
10 Maria van Dongen Verdi Don Carlo ‘Tu che la vanità’