21-02-1945 - current
For more than 30 years, John Bröcheler has been performing great roles in the world's foremost opera houses. He began his career as a concert singer and giving lieder recitals and later developed into an opera singer. Bröcheler commands a variety of styles: from the intimate lieder of Franz Schubert ...
Biography John Bröcheler
For more than 30 years, John Bröcheler has been performing great roles in the world's foremost opera houses. He began his career as a concert singer and giving lieder recitals and later developed into an opera singer. Bröcheler commands a variety of styles: from the intimate lieder of Franz Schubert to the monumental sound world of Richard Wagner. His repertoire ranges from Johann Sebastian Bach, Johannes Brahms and Ludwig van Beethoven to the 20th-century music of composers such as Hans Werner Henze, Gottfried von Einem, Paul Hindemith, and Frank Martin. Bröcheler's first recording (of Schumann's Dichterliebe and other works) was awarded the Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik.
John Bröcheler (February 21, 1945) gives his first lieder recital in Utrecht at the age of 19. While a student at the Maastricht Conservatory, where he has lessons with Leo Kettelaars, he is told that his voice is not suited to the opera. He later says: “I always felt like a lieder singer. There were baritones and basses in my opera class who were much more dramatic than I was. When they opened their mouths, the sound they made was like a whole men's choir. With me, it was at best a male quartet”. (Het Parool, January 29, 1998)
1969 - 1972
Bröcheler wins first place at the National Vocal Competition in 's-Hertogenbosch. In 1970 he completes his solo vocalist diploma with high grades. After, he has lessons with Pierre Bernac in Paris. He begins teaching solo singing at the Municipal Music School of Maastricht. In March 1972, he receives the Dutch Prix d'Excellence for his accomplishments at the Maastricht Conservatory.
Bröcheler makes his debut with the Netherlands Opera as Sid in Benjamin Britten's Albert Herring. He then gives stunning performances in the title role of Mozart's 'Don Giovanni', as Germont-père in Verdi's 'La Traviata', Marcello in Puccini's 'La Bohème', and Mandryka in Richard Strauss' 'Arabella'.
1974 - 1976
Bröcheler sings in the world premiere of Henri Posseur's 'Die Erprobung des Petrus Hebraïcus' (The Ordeal of Petrus Hebraïcus, 1974) during the Berliner Festwochen. Impressed by the baritone, Maurizio Kagel invites him to perform in the world premiere of 'Mare Nostrum' (in Berlin, followed by performances in Paris and Avignon) and 'Die Umkehrung Amerikas'. Via the avant-garde Bröcheler comes to know himself: “Kagel in particular played an essential role in this. He taught me something about myself through which I became more free in my work”. (Het Parool, January 29, 1998) For the world premiere of 'Mare Nostrum', Bröcheler gets the opportunity to create the role from scratch: “It was a liberating experience”. (Het Parool, January 29, 1998)
After appearing with Joan Sutherland in Amsterdam, Bröcheler is invited to perform at various American opera houses. He sings in the world premiere of Gian Carlo Menotti's 'La Loca' with the San Diego Opera, where he also performs various other roles. In New York and Los Angeles, he sings the title role in Verdi's 'Nabucco'.
1980 - 1981
Bröcheler performs the title role in Jan van Gilse's opera 'Thijl' (1940) at its premiere in the 1980 Holland Festival. In a broadcast by the VARA, he sings Frank Marin's 'Sechs Monologe aus Jedermann'.
He performs regularly with the opera in Stuttgart, for example in 'König Hirsch' by Hans Werner Henze and as Amfortas in Wagner's 'Parsifal'. He sings his brilliant Mandryka in Strauss' 'Arabella' at the Glyndbourne Festival.
Bröcheler has resounding success in various Wagnerian roles. After overcoming initial reservations, he sings Wotan in 'Der Ring des Nibelungen': “I thought Wotan was too dramatic for me”. (Het Parool, January 29, 1998) He later calls it the most interesting role he ever learned.
He sings the leading role in Aribert Reimann's opera 'Lear' (1978), an extremely complicated part to sing: “If you look at the orchestral score, you see a lot of flageolet tones, as though an entire group of strings is tuning. It's a fascinating effect, but as a singer you have to experience the atonal music within yourself as though it were tonal before it can give you support. And that takes time, a lot of time”. (Trouw, November 2, 2001) One critic found that Bröcheler celebrated a personal triumph with the role.
Bröcheler sings in the Ring cycle in Adelaide, Australia.
On May 16, Mayor Geraedts of the municipality Gulpen-Wittem pronounces him a Knight in the Order of the Netherlands Lion.
'Levenslang zingen', Hans Toonen's biography of Bröcheler, is released in March. Peter van der Lint writes: “The book is sometimes tough going, but it ultimately delivers a beautiful portrait of a driven and ever self-doubting man. A man who – unjustly, I believe – feels misunderstood and who is eternally struggling with wanting to be popular but not achieving it”. (Trouw, May 13, 2006) In recent decades Bröcheler has made known he wants to cut back on performing, but he has not retired from singing.
Discography John Bröcheler
Het Gelders Orkest - Des Knaben Wunderhorn
|Type and year||CD, 1993|
|Label||Ottavo, OTRC 79136|
|gastmuzikant||Jard van Nes|
Gé Reinders - Man Van 'n Kleine Sjtad
|Type and year||CDS, 2005|
In the discography you will find all recordings that have been released listed chronologically. We restrict ourselves to the title, the type of audio, year of publication or recording, label, list of guest musicians, plus any comments on the issue.
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