1972 THE WINNERS
|Great Den Bosch Prize
|An award for the best singer in the competition, who gets to perform in a KRO television concert.
|ƒ 2.500, the medal of Muziekstad Den Bosch, a diploma, a concert with the Brabant Orchestra, a KRO Radio broadcast.
|ƒ 1.000, Honorary diploma, a concert with the Brabant Orchestra.
|Prize Foundation ‘Dutch Musical Interests’
|ƒ 1.000 for the best performance of a Dutch composition
|German Embassy Prize
|ƒ 500 for a young talent, of any nationality
|Young Talent prize ‘Toonkunst’
|ƒ 500 Study allowance for a Dutch singer who shows promise at any point in the competition (he or she doesn’t have to be a finalist).
|Friends of Song Prize
|Five concert recitals with this Foundation, for Dutch singer with special talent for the song repertoire.
|VARA Broadcasting Corporation Prize
|VARA Broadcasting Corporation selects their own pick of finalists to appear in a VARA Radio broadcast.
|Free admission to the vocal Summer Course in Vught
|GRAND PRIZE OF THE CITY DEN BOSCH
|AALTJE NOORDEWIER-REDDINGIUS PRIZE
|KATHLEEN FERRIER PRIZE
|JACQUES URLUS PRIZE
|JOS ORELIO PRIZE
|Robert Currier Christesen
|Gheorghes Emil Crásnaru
|SPECIAL SUMMER COURSE GRANT
|“TOONKUNST” ENCOURAGEMENT PRIZE
|DUTCH MUSICAL INTERESTS FOUNDATION PRIZE
|GERMAN EMBASSY PRIZE
|VARA RADIO ENGAGEMENT
|Robert Currier Christesen, Christina Harvey, Patricia Payne, Marcel Vanaud
|KRO RADIO ENGAGEMENT
|Robert Currier Christesen, Patricia Payne, Gerda Spireanu
GREAT PRIZE OF THE CITY OF DEN BOSCH
‘Patricia Payne’s election to Great Prize winner was wholly understandable. Hers is a noble alto voice that remains resplendent in the higher registers too, as proven in a Strauss song and Duruflé’s ‘Pié Jesu.’ She is also very expressive.’ (Chris de Jong-Stolle, NRC, September 11, 1972)
‘Tall and majestic, displaying an enormous voice, opulent in tone. […] A rich mezzo-contralto of unusual strength and quality.’ (UK review on her Covent Garden debut)
Although Leo Hanekroot disagreed with English alto Patricia Payne’s First Prize on the grounds of a less than perfect appearance during the finals, he admitted that she had achieved her potential during the semi finals. There she demonstrated to control a full voiced alto with genuine dramatic allure. These qualities would onwards be confirmed in her very successful international career as a dramatic mezzo soprano/alto with an astonishing range of three octaves, which she employed in a wide repertoire ranging from Bach and Handel to the great mezzo roles of Verdi, Wagner and Richard Strauss to Stravinsky, Tippett and Britten. Her IVC Gala Concert appearance in ‘Liber Scriptus’ from the Verdi Requiem also leaves no doubt about why she won the 1972 IVC with ease, for this is a fully developed dramatic alto of sorts, who sings with dominance and complete control over both the voice and the part. Her rendition of this aria is impressive, as can be heard below:
Verdi: Requiem ‘Liber scriptus’
Patricia Payne (alto), Brabant Orchestra – Hein Jordans, Casino Theatre Den Bosch, September 13, 1972
Born and educated in Dunedin, New Zeeland, Patricia Payne won the 1966 Sydney Sun Aria Competition. This resulted in a 1967 scholarship for further studies in Britain. In 1972 Patricia won the Kathleen Ferrier Medal and the Great Prize of the City of Den Bosch in the prestigious ‘s-Hertogenbosch Vocal Competition in Holland. This led to oratorio, concert and recital engagements in several European cities. In 1974 she successfully auditioned for the Royal Opera House Covent Garden and was awarded a Principal Soloist contract. The same year she made her debut in Barcelona in Ponchielli’s La Gioconda, the first of many appearances in what became her favorite Mediterranean city.
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Over the next two decades Payne sang many roles at Covent Garden, and increasingly abroad in the great opera houses of the world, such as La Scala Milan, Metropolitan Opera New York, Paris, Barcelona, Bayreuth, Arena di Verona, and Chicago, but also in Florence, Genoa, Torino, Lecce, Palermo, Nice, Orange, Avignon, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Bonn, Stuttgart, Geneva, San Francisco, New Orleans or Boston. She sang leading roles with the Welsh National Opera, the Scottish Opera and the Opera North in the UK. She appeared with such partners as Luciano Pavarotti, Jose Carreras, Plácido Domingo, Jon Vickers, Grace Bumbry, Montserrat Caballé, Jessye Norman, Kiri te Kanawa, and Birgit Nilsson. Regarding conductors we mention Sir Colin Davis, Sir Georg Solti, Richard Armstrong, Sir Neville Mariner, Sir John Pritchard, Claudio Abbado, and Sir Michael Tippett. In addition to her operatic roles, Payne has an extensive concert repertoire ranging from Bach and Purcell to Britten, Stravinsky, Mahler and Verdi. She has recorded opera and oratorio for Philips, Phonogram and EMI and she has made opera videos for the BBC. In 2001 Patricia was awarded an ONZM for ‘services to opera and the community.’ Apart from all that, she is also an accomplished cook, a dedicated angler and fly fisher and a successful artist selling at exhibitions and galleries throughout New Zealand!
FIRST PRIZE WINNERS
‘A valuable, healthy voice and a singer who can carry the message of the music to the audience without exaggerated gestures’ (The 1972 IVC Jury)
‘First Prize winner Christesen sang sympathetically and made an intelligent choice with a song by Charles Ives…’ (Chris de Jong-Stolle, NRC, September 11, 1972)
Robert Currier Christesen (February 15, 1943, Washington DC) studied at the Manhattan School of Music with Daniel Ferro and George Schick. Additional studies with Aksel Schiotz, Jenny Tourel, Hans Hotter and Pierre Bernac. Prior to and/or around the time of his IVC victory he likewise won First Prizes in Prague, Paris, Toulouse, and at the Concert Artists Guild New York. If some members of the press had their doubts about Christesen’s operatic potential due to his lack of volume at the time, then he later managed to strengthen his vocal fundaments, since the sort of career he had judging from the roles and theatres mentioned further on, is impossible without a voice that carried well. The microphones in the Casino Den Bosch suggest that his volume was not the main issue that he had to solve in order to persevere, but rather his still rudimentary pronunciation of the Italian language.
Giordano: Andrea Chénier ‘Nemico della patria’
Robert Currier Christesen (Carlo Gérard), Brabant Orchestra – Hein Jordans, Casino Theatre Den Bosch, September 13, 1972
His official debut was in 1972, as Henrik in Nielsen’s Maskerade, at the St. Paul’s Opera. He went on to sing with opera companies in Rio de Janeiro, Prague, Copenhagen, Toulouse, Dortmund, Frankfurt, both the Komische Oper and the Staatsoper in Berlin, then in Amsterdam, Budapest, and Warsaw. His roles included Gasparo in Donizetti’s Rita, Don Quixote in de Falla’s El retablo de Maese Pedro, Lescaut in Henze’sBoulevard Solitude, Graf Eberach in Lortzing’sDer Wildschütz, then Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Almaviva in le nozze di Figaro, the baritone solo in Orff’s Carmina Burana, Ramiro in Ravel’s L’heure Espagnole, the title roles in Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia and Paisiello’s Re Theodoro in Venezia, Tomas in Smetana’s The kiss, Jochanaan in Richard Strauss’ Salome, Tchaikovsky’s Evgeni Onegin, and Yeletzky in Pique Dame; then by Verdi Ezio in Attila, Rodrigo in Don Carlo, Ford in Falstaff, Germont père in La traviata, Conte di Luna in Il trovatore, Ward in John Proctor’s The crucible, and Kaspar in Weber’s Der Freischütz.
Although Christensen’s voice has been preserved in just a few broadcasts, his 1975 French radio portrayal of Rodolfo in Leoncavallo’s version of La bohème is a moving attempt to revive Leoncavallo’s more delicate version of Henri Murger’s novel (with Alain Vanzo as Marcello, and Although Leoncavallo’s Rodolfo is not the main character in the opera since the work focuses strongly on the tormented love life of Marcello (Alain Vanzo) and Musette, (Anita Terzian), with fellow IVC 1972 Winner Eduard Tumageanian as Colline & Paolo, Rodolfo’s Act III song ‘Fra noi due nini diggi à tutto finì’ is as lovely as such ariosos can get:
Leoncavallo: La bohème ‘Fra noi due nini diggi à tutto finì’
Robert Currier Christesen (Rodolfo), Orchestre Lyrique et Choeurs de Radio-France – Nino Bonavolonta (conductor), Paris, March 27, 1975 (CD Du Plein Vent/INA)
Gerda Spireanu (Gerda Radler-Anca)
‘The First Prize for the Romanian soprano was no surprise. She possesses a full voice, which sowed great ease in coloratura, while at the same time she was able to perfectly interpret songs by Debussy and Wolf.’ (Chris de Jong-Stolle, NRC, September 11, 1972)
‘It was a circus act, but she captivated the larger part of the audience with it, and eventually she stole the hearts of the public and the Jury alike.’ (Leo Hanekroot, Unknown newspaper clipping on semi finals, September 1972)
Outside Romania, little is known about Romanian soprano leggiero Gerda Spireanu. She first made herself noticed when she was awarded a special prize for being the best light soprano in the 1972 Gran Teatre del Liceu Barcelona Vocal Competition. Subsequently, she won the First Prize in the Aaltje Noordewier-Reddingius category for sopranos in the IVC Den Bosch, likewise in 1972. Romanian critic Costin Popa confirmed me that Gerda Spireanu had an outstanding career at the Romanian Opera in Bucharest, which cant immediately be traced today since she achieved that career under her marital name Gerda Radler, then Gerda Radler-Anca. Concert activity and recitals further established her name in Romania, but also in Hungary and we suppose also performances in, at least, East Germany. She made several recordings for Electrecord. From those recordings and from her two appearances in the IVC Gala Concert, we know that hers was a typical Romanian voice, oily in texture (Germans would say ‘Geschmeidig’), vibrant, very flexible with a shade of dark in the covered tone. It is a light, joyful soprano sound, at times exuberant. If she is not yet completely free in the highest notes of Lucia di Lammermoor’s ‘Regnava nel silenzio… Quando rapita in estasi,’ it is still easy enough to imagine how she captivated the IVC audience and Jury, especially if one takes into account that she looked the part.
Donizetti Lucia di Lammermoor ‘Regnava nel silenzio’
Gerda [Spireanu] Radler-Anca (Lucia), Brabant Orchestra – Hein Jordans, Casino Theatre Den Bosch, September 13, 1972
SECOND PRIZE WINNERS
‘A beautiful, sonorous voice, extremely musical, great artistic intelligence…’ (The 1972 IVC Jury)
‘The best singer in the competition and one of the very best on a worldwide scale was the French bass Jacques Bona. Here was vocal culture, which means an important voice, employed with intelligence, musicality, admirable diction, artistry and feeling for the audience. […] Given the praise of the Jury for his performances, it is inexplicable why they did not give him a First prize.’ (Leo Hanekroot, Unknown newspaper clipping on the finals, September 1972)
Due to contractual obligations elsewhere, Jacques Bona regrettably did not appear at the concluding IVC Gala Concert, which is a great pity, since it would have given us a chance to judge the greatest baritone voice in the World per Leo Hanekroot!
Gheorghe Emil Crăsnaru
‘Gheorge Emil Crăsnaru walked off the stage last night with the Florent Marcil Prize in his pocket and the hearts of about 2000 inhabitants of Montreal in his hands. He is the possessor of a rich basso voice that was most effective… and the ovation he received made it clear that the decision of the eight member Jury had been a popular one.’ (The Gazette, Canada, upon his winning the 1973 Montreal Vocal Competition)
Gheorge Emil Crăsnaru (August 30, 1941) was born into a musical family in Bucharest. From boyhood on he was accepted in the children’s choir of the Romanian Radio. From 1967 onwards he entered the prestigious Bucharest ‘Ciprian Porombescu’ Conservatory, where he became the pupil of Petre Stefănescu Goangă and Aurel Alexandrescu. At the same time he started appearing with the Romanian broadcasting corporation, both on radio and television. His first full orchestra recital in public was with the Bucharest Symphony Orchestra in 1969; his operatic debut was in the same year as Osmin in Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail, with the Romanian Opera Bucharest. After winning the First prize in the 1970 George Enescu Competition in Bucharest he accepted invitations to Turin, Prato, Russia, Sofia, Stara Zagora and in 1971 he embarked on a second tour to Bulgaria and Finland. Following Second Prizes at the IVC Den Bosch and the Bach Competition in Leipzig 1972, he graduated summa cum laude from the Bucharest conservatory and started his career with the National Opera there. Following his winning of the Grand Prize in Montreal as best singer of the competition, he was invited for concerts in Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela and The Soviet Union, where he was particularly popular. In February and April 1974 he revisited Canada for appearances with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, followed by appearances in Ottawa. In May 1974 Crăsnaru appeared in Italy, and in August he performed at the Summer Festival in Vienna. An important performance in 1975 was his appearance in Sweden in George Enescu’s Oedipe, an important international performance of the most prestigious Romanian opera. In the summer of the same year he appeared at the Salzburger Festspiele, where he sang under Herbert von Karajan. In September he appeared with the ensemble of the Bucharest Opera at the Berliner Festtagen, where he sang Philips II in Verdi’s Don Carlo. Another notable performance was his appearance under Vaclav Neuman in Prague, in Verdi’s Requiem. In the 1980’s he had engagements with various West German theatres, among them the operas of Wiesbaden and Wuppertal.
Mozart: Le nozze di Figaro ‘Tutto è disposto!… Aprite un po’quegl’occhi’
Gheorge Emil Crăsnaru (Figaro), ‘Ciprian Porombescu’ Conservatory orchestra – Carol Litvin (LP Electrecord ST-ECE 01466)
His recordings included discs or contributions to discs cut for Electrecord, Radio Canada, Radio Helsinki, Bucharest Radio, Buenos Ayres Radio, East-Berlin Radio, Austrian Radio, and Dr. Schrencks Archive! Allegedly, he appeared in filmed performances in Bucharest, Santiago de Chile, Lima, Quito and Caracas, mostly untraceable today. His repertoire included Rocco in Beethoven’s Fidelio, Mephistophélès in Berlioz’ La damnation de Faust, Galitzki and Konchak in Borodin’s Prince Igor, The King in Britten’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, Nilakantha in Delibes’ Lakmé, Raimondo in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, Méphistophélès in Gounod’s Faust, The Foreign Guest in Rimsky-Korsakov’s Sadkó, Don Giovanni and Leporello in Mozarts Don Giovanni, Osmin in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro, Papageno and Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte, Boris and Pimen in Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov, Falstaff in Nicolai’s Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor, Bauer in Orff’s Der Mond, Don Basilio in Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia, Great Chamberlane in Stravinsky’s Le rossignol, Gremin in Tchaikovsky’s Evgeni Onegin, Philips II and The Grand Inquisitor in Verdi’s Don Carlo, Silva in Ernani, Banqua in Macbeth, Lodovico in Otello, König Heinrich in Wagner’s Lohengrin, Amfortas in Parsifal, Hermann in Tannhäuser, Wotan in Die Walküre, and Lunardo in Wolf-Ferrari’s I Quattro rusteghi.
‘Adelheid Krauss distinguished herself by a supple coloratura mezzo soprano voice.’ (Chris de Jong-Stolle, NRC, September 11, 1972)
Little is known about German mezzo-soprano Adelheid Krauss post the 1971 IVC, except that she made it to Bayreuth in the legendary Cnentennary Der Ring des Nibelungen production of Pierre Boulez and Patrice Chéreau, in which she sang the Rheingold & Götterdämmerung Floßhilde. If some critics were not wholly in agreement with her ‘Non più mesta’ during the competition, the 1972 IVC Gala Concert recording shows a fine timbre, an accurate technique, even if she clearly has problems with the top notes..
Rossini La cenerentola ‘Non più mesta’
Adelheid Krauss (Angelina), Brabant Orchestra – Hein Jordans, Casino Theatre Den Bosch, September 13, 1972
As Bayreuth’s 1976 Floßhilde in Das Rheingold and Götterdämmerung, as well as Schwertleite in Die Walküre (also in Catania 1979), she had no problems of course (please note that the first Bayreuth Chéreau Ring in 1976 is not the one on DVD, which is from 1980 and without Adelheid Krauss). Further traceable roles were Knappe in Parisfal, likewise in Bayreuth 1976.
‘Great artistic charisma’ (The 1972 IVC Jury)
‘Nina Stefanova pairs a wonderful voice with great musicality’ (Leo Hanekroot, Unknown newspaper clipping on semi finals, September 1972)
‘Nina Stefanova convinced foremost in the finals, although her voice is perhaps a shade too small to excel in her favorite genre, opera.’ (Chris de Jong-Stolle, NRC, September 11, 1972)
‘A great artist, both in terms of technique and artistry’ (Leo Hanekroot, Unknown newspaper clipping on the finals, September 1972)
Although Nina Stefanova was Hanekroot’s favorite in terms of voice and potential, he agreed that she lacked the required stage presence due to a clear shyness before the audience. If for that reason, or another one, her further career could not be traced beyond having gained a Second Prize at the Gran Teatre Liceu competition 1968, a competition that was part of the tour that most ambitious young singers made (nearly all previous IVC winners appear in the final results of the Liceu competition as well). Given the flying accolades press and Jury wrote around her name, one is curious to the voice, all the more so since contractual obligations prevented Stefanova to appear in the concluding IVC Gala Concert. From an appearance as Lisa in Tchaikovsky’s Queen of Spades in Cassel, 1975, we presume that her career developed partly in the German provinces. Of that Lisa, Opera’s critic Horst Koegler wrote:
‘By far the best singer was Nina Stefanova as Lisa, a bright and limpid soprano of wide range and womanly warmness, and a deeply committed actress.’
‘The Romanian baritone Tumagian is as exciting as they come. He has a beautiful voice, served by an exemplary choice of roles. His musicality is evident even in the most sensitive, lyrical passages.’ (G. Verdier, French music critic)
Eduard Tumagian is a Romanian baritone from Armenian origins, whose Romanian stage name became Tumageanian. Once famous, he switched back to his shorter, original name abroad, and thus his appearances can be found under either name. His aunt was soprano Arax Săvagian, first soloist of the Romanian Opera in Bucharest, and his parents sang in the church choir. Tumagian:
‘My mother had a beautiful soprano voice, wrote poetry and she loved art, things I inherited from her. I wanted to become a painter, then a journalist, but at age 14 I started taking piano lessons and developed a crush for the German symphonic repertoire. From the age of 17 onwards, my voice broke and my piano teacher Cecilia Manta suggested me solfeggios to vocalize a bit. Next my aunt gave me vocal lessons, and then it was clear that I needed serious study to develop my instrument. I went to the Bucharest Conservatory, to study in the oratorio oriented class of Secăreanu and Aurel Alexandrescu, and also maestro Viorel Ban. Upon graduating I was immediately accepted as a soloist at the National Opera in Bucharest, which was great because I learned repertoire and performing. Nevertheless, I continued studying, now with Enigărescu Gabor, who helped me a lot.’
One of the credos that Tumagian always kept with him was Chaliapine’s, who had said that one shouldn’t cry singing, but rather make the audience weep. One must sing with the heart, which was what Tumagian practiced in the great father figure baritone parts in Rigoletto, La Traviata, Luisa Miller, I due Foscari and Nabucco, but also in Macbeth, Iago in Otello, and Scarpia in Tosca, roles that he considered very interesting from the psychological point of view: ‘They require many different shades and colors, more dramatic tension.’
Verdi: Nabucco ‘Son pur queste Dio di Giuda’
Eduard Tumagian (Nabucco), 1970 (LP Electrecord)
In addition to his operatic repertoire, Tumagian always took great pride in also being a Lieder singer. He sang song cycles of lieder by various composers, favoring those on lyrics by Paul Verlaine or Baudelaire, as well as those composed by Romanian maestros. If his choice of poets suggested a weakness for the French repertoire, this was confirmed in his dream roles performed for the National Radio, Méphistophélès in Berlioz’ La damnation de Faust, but also the baritone part in the same composer’s Roméo et Juliette, Debussy’s L' enfant Prodige. Apart from French song, most notably Ravel’s, he excelled in the concert repertoire of Brahms, Mussorgsky, Haydn and others. Highlights of his career would certainly include his recording of Prokofjev’s War & Peace with Galina Vishnevskaya under Rostropovich, and Leoncavallo’s La bohème for radio France. In addition there is a Madama Butterfly recording on Electrecord with Elena Modoveanu, and Otello with Nicola Martinucci, a Falstaff with Plácido Domingo, a Luisa Miller with June Anderson and Paul Plishka, and so on.
Verdi: Il Corsaro ‘Alfin questo corsaro è mio prigione… Cento leggiadre vergini’
Eduard Tumagian (Seid), Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz – Michelangelo Veltri (conductor), Ludwigshafen, September 30, 1993.
Baritone parts not yet mentioned include those in Cavalleria rusticana, Pagliacci, and Gianni Schicchi. In a remarkable career, Tumagian combined the verismo repertoire (even including Montemezzi’s L' amore dei tre re) with the bel canto of Bellini Donizetti, and French opera; as a remnant of his youthful passion for the German repertoire there were even performances of Wagner’s Tannhäuser. Needless to say for a singer born in what was then the communist part of the world, he also excelled in the Russian repertoire. In adding roles, and singing an extremely varied repertoire, Tumagian was always looking to strengthen his voice, and to expand it in volume, which he always felt was the part of his vice that needed most attention, not just by mastering technique, but rather by experience. If he believes the Romanian school at that tome to have been among the best in the world, we can’t disagree with him since the results of the Romanian singers at the IVC confirm the prolonged and exceptional success of their training.
Tumagian’s career brought him to the greatest theatres in the world, including La Scala Milan, Covent Garden London, both the Bastille and the Palais Garnier Paris, and the theatres in Berlin and Vienna. In concert hall he sang at Carnegie Hall in New York (in Nabucco with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Ricardo Muti; in Bellini’s Beatrice di Tenda, and Ponchielli’s La Gioconda), then also in Salzburg, Orange, Tel Aviv etc.
PRIZE OF THE FOUNDATION OF DUTCH MUSICAL INTERESTS
YOUNG TALENT PRIZE ‘TOONKUNST’
‘Dutch mezzo soprano Jacqueline Jacobs, who favors song, proved very musical in Wolf, and even better in a jolly song by Henk Badings, although her limitations were finally revealed in an aria from Lortzing’s Der Waffenschmied. Should she not make it into the finals, then a scholarship or a Prize from the Foundation of Dutch Musical Interests would still be legitimite.’ (Johan van Dongen in Eindhovens Dagblad on the semi-finals)
Leo Hanekroot further noted that he had delighted in listening to Jacqueline Jacobs from Hoensbroek, whose talent was as convincing as her voice. He wished for her a study allowance, and she ultimately received the Prize of the Dutch Society for Promoting Musical Interests, together with Ingrid Kremling. The cheerful Badings song that Jacobs impressed with during the semi-finals was ‘Maggy and Millie and Molly and me,’ although Johan van Dongen noted that she did not live up to the expectations in the finals, where she lacked control over her voice. In 1972 she participated again, with the following result:
‘Although no Dutch participants made it to the finals, Jacqueline Jacobs received the Toonkunst Prize for young talent.’ (Chris de Jong-Stolle, NRC, September 11, 1972)Very little is known of Jacqueline Jacob's further career, except that she sang small parts in six productions with the South Dutch Opera from 1968 until 1987, which means that she started singing prior to her two IVC enlistings in 1970 and 1972. Both times she won a PRize, the first time the Prize of the Foundation of Dutch Musical Interests, and the second time the Prize of Foundation 'Toonkunst.' Her career with the SOuth Dutch Opera started with Henri in Heuberger's Der Opernball (1968, Eindhoven), via Jette/Mimi in Zeller's Der Vogelhändler (1970, Tilburg), Kate Pinkerton in Puccin's Madama Butterfly (1972, 1982, Heerlen), Annina in Verdi's La traviata (1977, Sittard), 2nd Lady in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte ( (1983, Sittard), and Orestes in Offenbach's La belle Hélène (1987, Roermond).
GERMAN EMBASSY PRIZE
‘The performance of this 19 years young singer with his powerful, sonorous voice was a wonderful surprise, especially also given the odd situation that most other candidates were so much older that they bordered on the far limit of admittance.’ (Chris de Jong-Stolle, NRC, September 11, 1972)
The Belgian bass-baritone Marcel Vanaud (1953) studied singing with Frédéric Anspach at the Brussels Conservatoire. He graduated singing and lyrical art in 1971/1972 as best in his year, which was confirmed in his passing onto the finals at the 1972 IVC Den Bosch, where he was distinguished with the German Embassy Prize. Given his exceptionally young age, that was quite a coupe. Rather than trying his luck with engagements right away, Vanaud continued his studies at the Conservatoire de Liège where he had Pierre Fleta as a teacher. In 1975 he joined for seven years at the Opéra Royal de Wallonie, where Gerard Mortier offered him an international singing career. At De Munt in Brussels, Vanaud sang first in Puccini’s La bohème, and Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni and Così fan tutte. Onwards he expanded his career to Europe, including appearances in Geneva, Vienna, Le Châtelet, Antwerp, Amsterdam and Florence. In 1982, he made his USA debut in a Pittsburg production of Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges, conducted by André Previn. In 1989 he went back to the USA for Berlioz’ Les Troyens, in 1993 for La traviata, and in Chicago he sang in Massenet’s Le Cid alongside Plácido Domingo. In 1989 he debuted in La Scala in the role of Dr. Faustes in the opera by Manzoni, directed by Bob Wilson. Shortly after, he sang in Hindemith’s Cardillac at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. Other roles he sang there were Stankar in Stiffelio (1998), Francesco Moor in Verdi’s I masnadieri (2005), and Amonasro in Verdi’s Aida (2006). His repertoire included many major baritone roles, among others those in Un ballo in maschera, Otello, and Don Carlo.
Marcel Vanaud chante airs Français (Medley of Escamillio in Carmen, Valentin in Faust, Hérode in Hérodiade, Méphistophélès in La damnation de Faust, Ralph in La jolie fille de Perth, Niliakantha in Lakmé, Palémon in Thaïs)
Marcel Vanaud (baritone), Orchestre de l’Opéra Royal de Wallonie – Roger Rossel(conductor) (CD Ligia Digital)
In addition his recorded repertoire also includes some repertoire rarities, such as Franck’s Les beatitudes (1987), Enescu’s Oedipe (1990), Lalo’s Le Roi d’Ys (1990), Gounod’s Mireille (1994), Philippe Hersant’s Le chateau des Carpathes (1999), Bloch’s Macbeth, Gouvy’s Electre, and Balfe’s Falstaff. In terms of preserved broadcasts these recordings are augmented by, among others, Gounod’s Faust (1990, orange), Bizet’s Les pecheurs des perles (1995, Liège), Simon Boccanegra (1996 Tours).