Ariën Artists - Hubert Claessens - English biography




© photos: oskar schmidt



Born in Holland, Huub Claessens studied at the Conservatory of Music in Maastricht with Mrs Mya Besselink where he graduated “Cum Laude” in Voice, Opera and Classical Saxophone and was awarded with the Edmond Hustinx Prize 1986. He then studied with Margreet Honig. In 1988 he won the 3rd Prize at the Queen Elisabeth Competition.

The artist made his opera debut in 1984 as Roberto in I Vespri Siciliani at the Netherlands Opera in Amsterdam under Edo de Waart. Engaged for two seasons he appeared in Il Prigioniero (by Dallapiccola), La Fianciulla del West, Parsifal and Meistersinger as well as the role of Don Alfonso in Cosi fan tutte, Colline in La Bohème and in Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande under Michel Plasson. Subsequently he appeared at the Salzburger Festspiele, the Wiener Staatsoper and the Châtelet Theatre in Paris with the world premiere of Die Schwarze Maske by Krzysztof Penderecki under the supervision of Herbert von Karajan. Huub Claessens' discography attests to his exceptional talent, both as a singer and as saxophonist.

His News ...

This current season 2021-2022 Huub Claessens will amongst other return both to the Company Operazuid Maastricht to sing Frère Laurent in Roméo et Juliette (Gounod) as to the Nederlandse Reisopera Enschede, this time as Kezal in Bruid te koop ! the new Dutch version of Bedrich Smetana’s Bartered bride.

Operazuid Maastricht invited him to participate in three new productions : in Verdi's Un ballo in maschera as Horn, Bernstein’s A quiet place (called Production of the year 2018  by the Readers of Place de l'Opéra) as Sam, in Offenbach's Fantasio as Le roi de Bavière and in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte as Sarastro (2019). Meanwile, Sam belongs to his star roles, having revived the role in Luxembourg and in Lübeck in another new production.

Noteworthy are Huub Claessens’ appearances in Marius-Felix Lange's Blanche-Neige as Le Miroir in the premiere of the French version commissioned by Opéra national du Rhin Strasbourg with revival in Paris at the Athénée-Théâtre Louis Jouvet ; Der Turm as Der Zauberer, by Claude Lenners, a commission by GT Luxembourg ; in De Legende and Andreas weent (Asa), both by Peter-Jan Wagemans under Michael Schoenwandt at the Amsterdam Opera House ; Orfeo by Walter Hus’ (performed in Brussels, Paris, Vienna, Lisboa, Berlin, Amsterdam etc.) and Orgon in Das Spiel von Liebe und Zufall by Helge Joerns at the Schwetzingen Festival (D). The Nationale Reisopera Enschede, invited him for Samuel in Un Ballo in Maschera, Monterone in Rigoletto, Schaunard in La Bohème and Collatinus in Benjamin Britten’s Rape of Lucretia, followed by successful appearances as Papageno and Sprecher in Zauberflöte and Masetto and Leporello in Don Giovanni.

Allround singer

The artist’s impressive repertoire includes the solopart in A Survivor of Warsaw by Schoenberg which he sang with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra under Klaus Tennstedt. Amongst his favourite parts : Nick Shadow in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress, which he sang most in Amsterdam and in Berlin (Konzerthaus), conducted by Jac van Steen. With Pierre Audi he participated in Broken Strings and Snatched by the gods by Param Vir and in Hiero - title role - by Guus Janssen. Huub Claessens also interpreted Lucifer in Adam in ballingschap by Rob Zuidam at the Netherlands Opera in Amsterdam and created the title role in Le Guru, composed and conducted by Laurent Petitgirard.

Being equally at home in baroque repertoire, the artist sung repeatedly under conductors such as Nicholas Mcgegan, Roy Goodman. It led to multiple appearances at the Händel-Festspiele, amongst other in Admeto, Jephta, Iménée and Samson. Under the baton of his musical soul mate Sigiswald Kuijken, he participated in varied CD-recordings with La petite Bande, among others in Mozart’s Da Ponte cycle, Così fan tutte, Don Giovanni, Le Nozze di Figaro and I Disingannati by Antonio Caldara. Under Jean-Claude Malgoire and his orchestra “La grande écurie”, Huub Claessens performed in Don Giovanni (Leporello), Le Nozze di Figaro (Figaro), Zauberflöte, (Papageno, Sprecher and Sarastro) and in La Clemenza di Tito (Publio).

His rich repertoire includes about eighty oratorios, a.o. The Creation (Haydn), The Messiah (Händel), multiple Masses and Passions by J.S. Bach, Ein deutsches Requiem (Brahms) and the Requiems by Mozart, Fauré en Verdi. But also Schönberg’s A survivor from Warsaw and Martin’s Et in terra pax.

Besides singing he played and plays many contempory compositions on saxophone, some especially written for and recorded with Huub Claessens as a soloist. This brought him to many beautiful concert halls such as the Birmingham Symfony Hall, the Musikverein in Vienna, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, The Philharmonie in Cologne, the Konserthus in Stockholm and many others. Huub Claessens is a versatile artist who finds challenge to be authentic in any period or style of music, reflecting in his repertoire ranging from Schuetz to Penderecki and even Gershwin and Cole Porter. Equally at home in opera as musical, he’s been performing amongst others Dr. Doolittle in My Fair Lady.  

cv update season 2021-2022 (September 2021)

CV-UPDATE : Please contact us to get the latest update of Hubert (Huub) Claessens' biography.

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