Willem van der Sluys

1955-w3'Ultimately there was also the Dutch lyric tenor Willem van der Sluys (Hilversum), who, among others, sang an aria from Mozart's Don Giovanni with immaculate breath control' (W.B., ‘Internationaal Vocalistenconcours,’ Het Husigezin, October 10, 1955)

'Willem van der Sluys, who started with an oratorio aria from Händel, followed by an aria from Mozart's Don Giovanni, was perhaps the liveliest artist of the four. He demonstrated ample breath control.' (Wouter Paap on Van der Sluys' International VOcal Competition D(IVC) Den Bosch Gala Concert appearance, De nieuwe Eeuw)

, 'In 1955, Willem van der Sluys (1931 - ??) lived in Hilversum, and was a 34 yeas old member of the Groot Omroepkoor, which had given him some experience with performing in public and before the radio. He studied with Eva Lievenberg. Being married with drawing artist A. C. Gunters, he had no idea where his second prize would take him. Eventually, it reaped him a promotion to a solo career with the Dutch Opera, where he performed comprimario parts. He also appeared in oratorio. In 1965 he sang the tenor part in Bach's St.–Matthew's Passion in St.-Janskerk Gouda. It is unclear if the later conductor Willem van der Sluijs is our tenor in a second career. Willem van der Sluys' promising voice was fortunately preserved in a complete Rigoletto recording on the MMS label. Once cast away for second rate designs and 'local casts', these recordings are currently re-evaluated as fascinating testimonies of a time gone bye, that in retrospect was far more fascinating than was thought in the days when all the world craved for Callas recordings alone. Although Borsa is mainly a secondary character in Verdi's masterpiece, Van der Sluys gets some truly fine and famous solo lines during the opening section 'Della mia bella ingognita Borghese', as can be heard on our mp3 sample here:


Verdi: Rigoletto 'Della mia bella incognita Borghese'
Willem van der Sluys (Borsa), Paul Conrad (Duca di Mantova), Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra – Walter Goehr (1955 25CM LP MMS-111).

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