Symphony Concert N° 6

Philippe Herreweghe Conductor
Dorothee Mields Soprano
Eva Zaïcik Mezzo-soprano
Alex Potter Alto
Reinoud Van Mechelen Tenor
Krešimir Stražanac Bass
Collegium Vocale Gent

Johann Sebastian Bach

  • Missa in B minor, BWV 232

»Composer to His Majesty’s Capelle«

In the hope of obtaining the title of »Court Composer« to Dresden’s resident Capelle (to­day’s Staatskapelle), Johann Sebastian Bach wrote a sacred work consisting of a Kyrie and a Gloria, regarded as the forerunner to the great Mass in B minor, BWV 232. Dedi­cating it to August III, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland, Bach was awarded the de­sired title three years later. After conducting the »St. John Passion« at the Remembrance Concert of 2018, Philippe Herreweghe is returning to Dresden with his Collegium Vocale Gent to perform this masterpiece of sacred music.

  • 13.02.2021
    19:00 Uhr
    Semperoper
    Tickets
    Ticket price:
    45.00 – 67.00 €
  • 14.02.2021
    19:00 Uhr
    Semperoper
    Tickets
    Ticket price:
    39.00 – 58.00 €

Philippe Herreweghe

Philippe Herreweghe was born in Ghent and studied at both the university and music conservatory there, studying piano with Marcel Gazelle. During this period he started conducting and founded Collegium Vocale Gent in 1970. He was invited by Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Gustav Leonhardt, who had noticed his innovative work, to participate in their recordings of the complete cantatas of Johann Sebastian Bach. 

Herreweghe’s energetic, authentic and rhetorical approach to baroque music was soon drawing praise. In 1977 he founded the ensemble La Chapelle Royale in Paris, with whom he performed music of the French Golden Age. From 1982 to 2002 he was artistic director of the Académies Musicales de Saintes. During this period, he founded several new ensembles with whom he made historically appropriate and well-thought-out interpretations of repertoire stretching from the Renaissance to contemporary music. They include the Ensemble Vocal Européen, specialised in Renaissance polyphony, and the Orchestre des Champs Élysées, founded in 1991 with the aim of playing pre-Romantic and Romantic repertoire on original instruments. Since 2009, Philippe Herreweghe and Collegium Vocale Gent have been actively working on the development of a large European-level symphonic choir. 

 

Philippe Herreweghe continually seeks out new musical challenges, and has been very active performing the great symphonic repertoire, from Beethoven to Stravinsky. Since 1997 he is principal conductor of the Royal Flemish Philharmonic. He is also in great demand as a guest conductor with orchestras such as Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig the hr-Sinfonieorchester Franfurt, the Berlin-based Mahler Chamber Orchestra, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra or the Scottish Chamber Orchestra or the Tonhalle Orchester Zürich.

Philippe Herreweghe has received numerous European awards for his consistent artistic imagination and commitment. In 1990 the European music press named him Musical Personality of the Year. 1994 he was awarded the Belgian order of Officier des Arts et Lettres, and in 1997 he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Catholic University of Leuven. In 2003 he received the French title Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur. Lastly, in 2010 the city of Leipzig awarded him its Bach-Medaille for his great service as a performer of Bach. In 2017 Philippe Herreweghe will receive an honorary doctorate at Ghent University.

Dorothee Mields

Dorothee Mields is one of the leading interpreters of 17th- and 18thcentury music and is admired for her unique timbre and moving interpretations.

In 2019/20, she will join the Collegium Vocale Gent for several tours celebrating the ensemble’s 50th anniversary in 2020. Furthermore, she gives concerts with Early Music Vancouver, the Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra and Ensemble at the Musikfest Bremen, with the Bachakademie Stuttart at the Thüringer Bachwochen and the Bachfest Leipzig. Together with the Hathor Consort, she appears at the Tage Alter Musik in Herne and in Regensburg, and together with the Lautten Compagney Berlin, she will perform at the Musikverein Vienna. Additionally, she appears regularly with the Netherlands Bach Society, L’Orfeo Barockorchester, Freiburger Barockorchester, RIAS Kammerchor, Orchestra of the 18th Century, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra Toronto, The English Concert and Klangforum Wien under the direction of conductors such as Stefan Asbury, Beat Furrer, Michi Gaigg, Paul Goodwin, Philippe Herreweghe, Emilio Pomàrico, Hans-Christoph Rademann, Andreas Spering, Masaaki Suzuki and Jos van Veldhoven.

Dorothee Mields is a welcome guest at international festivals, including the Bachfest Leipzig, Suntory Music Foundation Summer Festival in Japan, Boston Early Music Festival, Flanders Festival, Wiener Festwochen, the Handel Festival in Halle, Musikfestspiele Potsdam, Styriarte Graz, Niedersächsische Musiktage, Musikfest Bremen, Mainzer Musiksommer, Heinrich-Schütz-Musikfest, Thüringer Bachwochen and Mosel Musikfestival. She is a devoted chamber musician.

Important projects are »Duft und Wahnsinn« with Hille Perl and Lee Santana, »Birds« and »Inspired by Song« with Stefan Temmingh and Boccherini »Stabat mater« with the Salagon Quartett. Further recital and chamber music partners are Hamburger Ratsmusik, Lee Santana, the Sirius Viols, Harmonie Universelle and Lucius Rühl. In 2020 she will work with the G.A.P. Ensemble for the first time, performing vocal music by J. S. Bach and D. Shostakovich. A steadily growing discography with several award-winning recordings documents her artistic achievements.

»Inspired by Song« and »Birds« with Stefan Temmingh, »Händel« with Hille Perl, Monteverdi »La dolce vita« with the Lautten Compagney Berlin and Wolfgang Katschner, Bach »Kantaten für Solo-Sopran« with L’Orfeo Barockorchester and Michi Gaigg and Boccherini »Stabat mater« with the Salagon Quartett have been especially well received. Her most recent recording »War & Peace« was awarded with the Opus Klassik 2019. On this album, Dorothee Mields and the Lautten Compagney Berlin explore the connection between songs from the Thirty Years’ War and works by Hanns Eisler and Friedrich Hollaender.

Eva Zaïcik

The mezzo-soprano Eva Zaicik was born in 1987 in Maisons-Alfort near Paris. She began her vocal studies at the Maîtrise de Notre-Dame de Paris, where she has been co-leading the Ensemble Lunaris, consisting of three female voices and a viola da gamba, since 2009. In 2009, Eva Zaïcik made her stage debut as the Second Sorceress in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas at the Maison des Arts et de la Culture in Créteil.

In 2010 she sang Bastienne in Mozart's »Bastien et Bastienne« at the Maison des Pratiques artistiques amateurs de Saint-Germain in Paris. In 2012 she will then work with the Atelier lyrique de Paris on the role of Erneste in Haydn's »Le Monde de la lune« and also on the role of Farnace in Mozart's »Mithridate« at the Philharmonie de Paris. In 2014 she visited the Royaumont Foundation to play Octavia in a concert version of »L'incoronazione di Poppea«, followed by Eurydice, The Public Opinion and Proserpina in »Orpheus«. The following year, she returned to the Philharmonie de Paris to sing La Marquise Melibea (Il Viaggio a Reims), and later to the Fondation Royaumont for a concert version of Mozart's »Die Hochzeit des Figaro«, in which she took on the role of Cherubino.

In 2016 the mezzo-soprano replaced Mireille Delunsch in the title role of Dido in Purcell's »Dido and Aeneas« in Rouen and Versailles. In 2017 Eva Zaïcik will sing Caliste in »Les Amants magnifiques« by Jean-Baptiste Lully in Massy. She won the Prix Révélation artiste lyrique at the Victoires de la Musique Classique 2018 and in the same year she played Lybie in Lully's »Phaéton« in Versailles.

On the occasion of the recital of the Voix Nouvelles she gave several concerts, among others in October 2018 in Marseille, in November in Montpellier, Limoges, Bordeaux and Toulouse, in December in Reims, in February 2019 in Rouen and La Monnaie and in March in Nice. Also in November she sang in Notre-Dame de Paris, and in December in Lausanne and Geneva, Beethoven's »Missa Solemnis«. In April, she will perform the Sélysette in »Ariane et Barbe-Bleue« in Toulouse and then return to Versailles to play Pergolèse's »Stabat mater« and the »Leçons de Ténèbres«. On her return to Limoges in May, she will appear in »Les Amants magnifiques« as Caliste and then in Compiègne for the title role in Carmen by Bizet. Finally, in July, she will perform Handel's »Dix Dominus« with »Les Arts Florissants« in Auvers sur Oise, Beaune and Lessay.

Reinoud Van Mechelen

Reinoud Van Mechelen completed his vocal studies at the Conservatoire Royal in Brussels in 2012 in the class of Dina Grossberger. In 2017 he was awarded the prestigious Caecilia Prize as Young Musician of the Year by the Association of Belgian Music Press.

Already in 2007 Reinoud Van Mechelen attracted attention at the European Baroque Academy in Ambronay (France) under the direction of Hervé Niquet. In 2011 he was a member of the »Jardin des Voix« of William Christie and Paul Agnew and subsequently became a regular soloist of Les Arts florissants. Guest appearances with this ensemble have taken him to the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence, the Edinburgh Festival, the Château de Versailles, the Bolchoï Theatre in Moscow, the Royal Albert Hall, the Barbican Centre in London, the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, the Philharmonie and Opéra Comique in Paris and the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York, among others.

In 2014 Reinoud Van Mechelen sang the role of the Evangelist in J. S. Bach's »St. John Passion« with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic for the first time in his career. A role which he will sing again with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam, among others. However, recent years have been marked by his performances of Rameau's title role in »Dardanus« (Opéra national de Bordeaux) and »Zoroastre« (on tour to the Festival de Montpellier et Radio-France, the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence, the Festival de Beaune, the Théâtre Royal in Versailles and the Theater an der Wien), both productions under the baton of Raphaël Pichon. In 2016/17 he made his debut at Zurich Opera House as Jason in Charpentier's »Médée« under the baton of William Christie. In addition to numerous other engagements, he has expanded his repertoire with new roles in concert version: Belmonte (»The Abduction from the Seraglio«) with the Orchestre de Chambre de Paris and Gérald (»Lakmé«) with the Munich Radio Orchestra.

In addition to numerous performances with his own ensemble, a nocte temporis, his last two seasons have been highlighted by the anniversary production for the 30th anniversary of the Concert Spirituel (»L'Opéra des Opéras«, recorded and published by Alpha Classics) and two international concert tours with Les Arts florissants. He also played the title role in Rameau's »Pygmalion« at the Dijon Opera and made his debuts at the Théâtre royal de la Monnaie (Tamino in »The Magic Flute«) and at the Staatsoper Berlin (Hippolyte in »Hippolyte et Aricie« conducted by Sir Simon Rattle).

His 2019/20 season promises to be very busy with his role debut as Nadir in »Les Pêcheurs de perles« at the Toulon Opera, Purcell's »King Arthur« at the Staatsoper Berlin, Rameau's »Pygmalion« at the Grand Théâtre in Luxembourg, »L'incoronazione di Poppea« at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées and the two St. John Passions, St. Matthew Passion with Collegium Vocale Gent.

Reinoud Van Mechelen has already participated in numerous recordings. His first solo album entitled »Erbame Dich« (Arias by J. S. Bach) was released by Alpha Classics in 2016 and received unanimous praise from the press, including a »Choc« from the monthly magazine Classica and one of 10 Caecilia awards for the best recordings of 2016. In the meantime, three more albums with a nocte temporis have been released by Alpha Classics.

Krešimir Stražanac

Bass baritone Krešimir Stražanac was born in Croatia in 1983.

He studied with Prof. Dunja Vejzović and Prof. Cornelis Witthoefft at the Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Stuttgart and privately with Prof. Jane Thorner Mengedoht and Hanns-Friedrich Kunz. After his studies he became a permanent ensemble member of the Zurich Opera House where he performed as Baron Tusenbach (»Three Sisters«), Ping (»Turandot«), Harlequin (»Ariadne auf Naxos«) and Don Fernando (»Fidelio«) under the direction of Nello Santi, Peter Schneider, Franz Welser-Möst, Bernard Haitink, Placido Domingo and many other conductors.

In the season 2015/2016 he made his debuts with the Bavarian Radio and Concerto Köln, the Collegium 1704 and the WDR Symphony Orchestra.

In the 2016/2017 season he made his debut with the Collegium Vocale Gent / Orchestre du Champs-Elysées conducted by Philippe Herreweghe, the Symphony Orchestra of the Hessian Radio, the Barocchists and Radiotelevisione with Diego Fasolis, the Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne with conductor Francois-Xavier Roth, the Royal Flemish Orkest with Philippe Herreweghe, the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich and with the Munich Radio Orchestra.

In 2017 he made his debut at the Bavarian State Opera in the new production of Giordano's »Andrea Chénier« with the role of Pietro Fléville, which he will also sing in the 2018/2019 season at the Bavarian State Opera. In the 2017/2018 season he will make his debut with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam under the baton of Philippe Herreweghe, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Oslo Filharmoniske Orkester under Herbert Blomstedt, and the Gewandhausorchester under Gotthold. In September 2018 he made his debut as Baron Tusenbach (»Tri Sestri«) at the Frankfurt Opera, as well as debuts in the 2018/2019 season as Frank (»Die Fledermaus«) and Kreon (»Oedipus

Rex«).

Further debuts this season included debuts with the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Staatskapelle Halle, Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, Stuttgart State Orchestra, Gächinger Kantorei and Akademie für alte Musik Berlin.

In the coming season he will perform at the Salzburg Festival, the Vienna Musikverein, the London Barbican Center, the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, the Auditorio Nacional de Música Madrid, the Leipzig Gewandhaus as well as many other concert halls. He will make further debuts with Contentus Musicus Vienna (conductor Stefan Gottfried), the MDR Symphony Orchestra (conductor Risto Joost), and the European Union Youth Orchestra (conductor Manfred Honeck).

Krešimir Stražanac particularly enjoys devoting himself to the art song repertoire. He has sung numerous recitals at the Bayreuth Stadthalle, the Grand Théâtre de Dijon, the Zagreb HGZ and Vatroslav Lisinski Hall, the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra in Ljubljana, the Zurich Toni-Areal, the Klagenfurt Concert Hall, Périgueux (France), Stuttgart (Wilhelma Theater and Hospitalhof-Sääle), the Casino Venice and several times in Japan.

On CD/DVD he can be heard in the Decca production of Bizet's »Carmen« as Morales, the BBC Opus Arte production of Beethoven's »Fidelio« as Don Fernando and the Quattro Live production of Wagner's »Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg« as Konrad Nachtigall as well as the CD recording of Bach's St. John Passion with the Bayerischer Rundfunk/Concerto Köln under the direction of Peter Dijkstra.

He is the winner of the international Cantilena Competition in Bayreuth, the international La Voce Competition of the Bavarian Radio as well as the 1st International Hugo Wolf Competition in Hugo Wolf's birthplace.

Collegium Vocale Gent

Collegium Vocale Gent was founded in 1970 on Philippe Herreweghe’s initiative by a group of friends studying at the University of Ghent. They were one of the first ensembles to use new ideas about baroque performance practice in vocal music. Their authentic, text-oriented and rhetorical approach gave the ensemble the transparent sound with which it would acquire world fame and perform at the major concert venues and music festivals of Europe, the United States, Russia, South America, Japan, Hong Kong and Australia. Since 2017 the ensemble runs its own summer festival Collegium Vocale Crete Senesi in Tuscany, Italy.

In recent years, Collegium Vocale Gent has grown organically into an extremely flexible ensemble whose wide repertoire encompasses a range of different stylistic periods. Its greatest strength is its ability to assemble the ideal performing forces for any project. Music from the Renaissance, for example, is performed by a small group soloists. German Baroque music, particularly Johann Sebastian Bach’s vocal works, has been a speciality of the group and is still the jewel in its crown. Today Collegium Vocale Gent performs this music with a small ensemble in which the singers take both the chorus and solo parts. Collegium Vocale Gent is also specializing in the Romantic, modern and contemporary oratorio repertoires, performed with the symphonic choir up to 80 singers.

Besides using its own baroque orchestra, Collegium Vocale Gent works with several historically informed instrumental ensembles to perform these projects, including the Orchestre des Champs Elysées, Freiburger Barockorchester and Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin. It also works with prominent symphony orchestras such as deFilharmonie (Royal Flemish Philharmonic), the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, the Budapest Festival Orchestra and Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. The ensemble has worked with Ivor Bolton, Marcus Creed, Reinbert de Leeuw, Iván Fischer, René Jacobs, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Kaspars Putnins, Jos van Immerseel, Paul Van Nevel, James Wood and many others leading conductors.