© Naomi Baumgartl
José Van Dam is one of today’s most famous and requested interpreters of the bass-baritone repertoire, and since his debut at Paris Opera in The Trojans, he is regularly invited to the most important opera houses and festivals all over the world.
His vast repertoire includes the title-role of Falstaff and Simon Boccanegra (Verdi), Don Giovanni (Mozart), Guglielmo Tell (Rossini), Boris Godunov (Moussorgski) and Wozzeck (Berg). He was Philipp II in Don Carlos (Verdi), Hans Sachs in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Wagner), Amfortas in Parsifal (Wagner), Jochanaan in Salome (Strauss), Mephisto in Faust (Gounod) and La Damnation de Faust (Berlioz), Golaud (Pelléas et Mélisande), Scarpia in Tosca (Puccini), and Selim in Il turco in Italia (Rossini). José Van Dam created the title part in the world premiere of Olivier Messiaen’s Saint François d’Assise at Paris Opera, and he was equally acclaimed in this role in the Peter-Sellars-production at Salzburg Festival.
He sang the title part in the world premiere of Oedipe sur la route (Pierre Bartholomée) in Brussels, L’Heure espagnole, Gianni Schicchi and Elias at the Saito Kinen Festival in Japan, La Damnation de Faust at Geneva Opera and Opera Bastille, Saint François d’Assise at the Ruhr Triennale and at Opera Bastille, Meistersinger von Nürnberg at Zürich Opera House, Don Pasquale at Teatro Real Madrid, Pelléas et Mélisande at Opera Bastille and at the Met New York, From the house of the dead at Teatro Real, L’Amour des trois oranges, La traviata and Louise at Opera Bastille (including revivals in the season 2007/08) as well as Frau ohne Schatten (Barak), Boris Godunov, Traviata and La Forza del Destino (Fra Melitone) at the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels.
José van Dam is also a most acclaimed concert, oratorio and Lieder singer with a large repertoire. He collaborated with numerous famous conductors such as Herbert von Karajan, Claudio Abbado, Riccardo Muti, Georg Solti, James Levine, Seiji Ozawa, Lorin Maazel, Colin Davis, Michel Plasson, Charles Dutoit, Antonio Pappano or Sylvain Cambreling. On film, he played the title role of Le Maître de musique (The Master of Music), directed by Gérard Corbiau, and also sang Leporello in Joseph Losey’s Don Giovanni.
He has received a number of awards for his performances and honorary doctorates from the University of Montréal. The City of Berlin honoured him with the title of "Kammersänger", and he was bestowed “Commandeur des Arts et Lettres” in France. José van Dam was ennobled by King Albert II of Belgium.
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