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DutchDiva of the Month

150BarbaraSchilstraBarbara Schilstra

Dutch lyric soprano Barbara Schilstra is Diva of the Month December 2016/January 2017 in the wake of her lead part in 401Concerts 4, in the Concert Hall of the library at Spui, The Hague, 18 december. She will sing there an array of arias and duets from Dutch operas by Cornelis Dopper, Daniël de Lange, Gerard von Brucken Fock, Emile von Brucken-Fock, Willem Landré, Jan van GilseJan Brandts Buys en Richard Hageman. Schilstra's voice is marked by a silvery timbre and genuine personality. Till date the highlight of her career was a tour as Saffi in Gypsy Baron that took her from Vienna throughout Germany. The next highlight will be the December 18 concert! Who is curious after her voice is welcome to attend this coproduction with the Netherlands Music Institute. Entrance is Free!

Barbara Schilstra
18 december concert  

DutchDivo of the Month

WolterIn Memoriam Wolter Willemsen

Our 401DutchOperas house pianist, the brilliant Wolter Willemsen, has died completely unexpectedly in his house on June 18. On behalf of our team, in particular also our vocal ensemble consisting of Barbara Schilstra, Hendrik Vonk, Lilian van de Zande and since recently also Hans de Vries, we wish his friends and family strength. Wolter was exceptionally gifted, he could take you to realms of sound in Dutch music that you had never believed possible. We had planned a studio recording of all the music we had been working on for the past two years: operas by Von Brucken Fock, Jan van Gilse, Jan Brandts Buys and some others. That we have to cancel this recording is a true blow to those wodnerful Dutch composers. Dear Wolter, wherever you are on the journey to the big unknown, we do not wish you a quiet journey at all, we wish you a lot of music and a Bösendörfer!

Concert with Heldentenor arias

Lieuwe Visser

  • LieuweVisser1
  • LieuweVisser2
  • LieuweVIssser3
  • LieuweVIsser7
  • LieuweVIsser6
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  • In Dorian Gray

The bas Lieuwe Visser was born on 23 augustus 1939 in Diemen, near Amsterdam in thé North of The Netherlands. Noord-Holland. Initially, he worked as a historian, but after he discovered his voice he studied singing with Jo van de Meent in Amsterdam. he continued his vocal studies with Giorgio Favaretto at the Academia di Santa Cecilia in Rome. He completed his studies with the Studio of the Dutch Opera Foudation, where he made his debut in 1973 as Don Basilio in Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia.

Following his debut, he sang a plenitude of roles in a variety of repertoire, ranging from Monteverdi to Dutch contemporary composers such as Hans Kox and Theo Loevendie. Outside The Netherlands Visser appeared in Germany, Belgium, France (Opera of Toulouse), Engeland (Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Glyndebourne Festival, 1981), Austria (1980, Karinthischen Sommer in Ossiach) and The United States. At the Vocal Competition of Toulouse he won the Golden Medal. In 1966 he already participated in the Holland Festival and onwards he appeared in many world premieres, a. o. Hans Kox' Dorian Gray (1974), Konrad Böhmer's Dr. Faustus (1985), Theo Loevendie's operas Esmée, and Gassir the Hero (1991), Guus Janssen's Noach (1995), Willem van Manen's Roger Roger and Kees Olthuis' De naam van de maan. In 1983 he participated in the Centre Français Lyrique Paris world premiere of H.K. Gruber's opera Frankenstein. Apart from serious opera roles, he also appears in buffo parts, while his concert appearances include the most divers works for voice and orchestra, as well as song, both  classic and modern repertoire..

His first steps in singing Lieder were made alongside pianists Rudolf Jansen and Felix de Nobel. In concert he appeared with such notable conductors as Bernard Haitink, Edo de Waart, Hans Vonk, Bruno Maderna, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Reinbert de Leeuw, Charles Dutoit and many others. He was the reciter in all works composed by Schönberg that included spoken parts. For his interpretation of Theo Loevendie's The nightingale he received the prestigious Dutch Edison Award.

Throughout the 1980's and 1990's, Lieuwe Visser was one of the most important Dutch basses.Following his singing career, he bcame a vocal teacher at the Conservatory of Maastricht.

F.Busoni, Goethe-lieder: "Schlechter Trost", VARA 1982

Lieuwe Visser died on Tuesday, March 4, in hs residence Amsterdam.