Messages from our foundation singers - Julien Van Mellaerts
Posted on 22 December 2016
New Zealand Baritone Julien Van Mellaerts has enjoyed a busy final year at the Royal College of Music International Opera School. Working for Opera Holland Park, as a Christine Collins Young Artist he played the role of Schaunard in their new production of La bohème. Not only the opportunity to cover for the main production, but also the chance to perform the opera in full with the City of London Sinfonia, on the main stage.
Next project was to work on 31 songs for the International Vocalisten Concours, ‘s-Hertogenbosch, in the Netherlands. With fellow Kiwi pianist, Somi Kim they competed in the Lied Duo category. With the generous support and mentorship of Dame Kiri, we had a hard task to prepare all the repertoire required for the competition. A good result – they emerged as semi-finalists and were invited back for next year’s opera competition and the Lied Duo in 2018. After recitals in France, Spain and The Netherlands, it was back to London to start school again.
Being his final year of study he wanted to make the most of the opportunities and support that the college had to offer including the role of Nardo in La Finta Giardiniera by Mozart – a revival of a highly successful production from the Buxton Festival.
Last month he performed in a recital as part of the Oxford Lieder Festival, working with Dame Gwyneth Jones, and Sir Thomas Allen in masterclasses, through the college and the London Song Festival. Performances coming up include a series of Christmas concerts in Berlin with the Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra, as their baritone soloist and Messiahs with the Orchestra of St Johns, in London and Oxford. Early next year he will be performing both the St John and St Matthew Passions in London, Oxford and Sheffield. Then the baritone soloist for Carmina Burana as part of the Aldeburgh Festival at Snape Maltings.