The Dutch baritone Robbert Muuse received his vocal and operatic training with Mrs. Mya Besselink in Maastricht, the Netherlands and with Mr. Donald Litaker at the Operaschool of the Hochschule für Musik in Karlsruhe, Germany. He also specialized as a Liedsinger and studied with such renowned vocal accompanists as Konrad Richter, Hartmut Höll at the Universität Mozarteum Salzburg and Julius Drake in London. He was coached in masterclasses by Sir Thomas Allen, Barbara Bonney, Robert Holl, Graham Johnson, Claudio Nicolai, David Wilson-Johnson and Hilde Zadek.
For both the concert and the opera repertoire Robbert Muuse is a sought after singer. Recently he was invited to the 2010 Verbier Festival in Switzerland, to sing 1er Soldat in Richard Strauss’ opera Salome, conducted by maestro Valery Gergiev. Muuse performed many operatic roles including most recently: the Forester in Janácek’s Cunning Little Vixen, father in Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel. He sang Guglielmo in Mozart’s Così fan tutte in a touring production throughout the Netherlands, Allazim in Mozart’s Zaide performed in the Karlsruhe Festspielhaus (Germany); Malatesta in Don Pasquale by Donizetti, Dr. Falke in Die Fledermaus, Silvio in Leoncavallo’s I Pagliacci, Le Directeur in Poulenc’s Les Mamelles de Tirésias conducted by maestro Ed Spanjaard, Escamillo in La Tragédie de Carmen, Aeneas in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Protée and Épaphus in Phaéton by J.B. Lully, and Pallante in Händel’s Agrippina, which he sang on tour through Eastern-Europe with the Combattimento Consort Amsterdam conducted by Jan-Willem de Vriend. From Benjamin Britten he sang the role of Sid in Albert Herring, conducted by Urban Malmberg and staged by renowned director Guy Joosten, and Noah in Noye’s Fludde. Furthermore he performed Filippo in a Dutch translation of Rossini’s La Gazzetta with present Cologne’s Kapellmeister Enrico Delamboye and directors Saskia Boddeke and Peter Greenaway.
As a soloist and interpretator of baroque music he has sung many oratorios and concerts. His interpretation of Bach Matthew’s Passion (arias and Jesus) has been much acclaimed. Also on his repertoire are the great oratorios and concertworks, such as many cantatas and Weihnachtsoratorium by J.S. Bach, Händel’s Belshazzar and Messiah, Haydn’s Die Schöpfung and Die Jahreszeiten, Mendelssohn’s Paulus and Elias, the great Requiems by Mozart, Fauré and Duruflé, Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem, Carmina Burana by Orff, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle and Vaughan Williams’ Five Mystical Songs.
Since 2001 he has frequently worked together with the Ensemble Pierre Robert (France), an ensemble that consists generally of three solo-voices, specialised in French baroque music, and directed by Frédéric Desenclos. The repertoire includes works of Brossard, Henry Dumont, Daniel Danielis, Clérembault, M.A. Charpentier, Lully, Couperin and Pierre Robert.
Acclaimed for his skills in singing Lied, Robbert Muuse has sung many songrecitals, amongst others at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, in Stuttgart, Karlsruhe, Salzburg and Paris, accompanied by the Dutch pianist Micha van Weers. Having been trained and performing together since 1994, they have gained great experience in the art of song and have won esteem for their interpretations. Together they won several prizes, such as the Audience Prize and the Special RAI-Prize at the 2003 International Seghizzi Song Competition in Italy and the prestigious MeesPierson Award 2004 of the Amsterdam Concertgebouw.
It is their goal to gain new attention for particular repertoire that has not been performed for a long time, such as the so-called Entartete Musik (degenerate music), music that was banned by the Nazi-regime; the repertoire consists of an extensive list of works by many jewish composers from different countries. But they also perform great works from other composers that somehow and for no good reason have been neglected on the concertplatform.
With chamber music ensembles (e.g. Ives Ensemble) he performed works such as Le Bal Masqué by Francis Poulenc, Die Wolkenpumpe by Erwin Schulhoff, and Dover Beach by Samuel Barber.
Invitations led to the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Cité de la Musique in Paris, Festival de Verbier (Switzerland) where he sang under Valéry Gergiev; Combattimento Consort Amsterdam (conducted by Jan-Willem de Vriend), the Nieuw Ensemble and the Limburgs Symfonie Orkest, conducted by Ed Spanjaard; cond. Kynan Johns, The Brabant Orchestra in Eindhoven, with conductors Paul Goodwin, Christoph Poppen, The Netherlands Bach Society conducted by Jos van Veldhoven, La Petite Bande (cond. Eric van Nevel), Ives Ensemble Amsterdam (modern music), St John’s Smith Square in London, with the London Southbank Sinfonia (conducted by Simon Over), and Ensemble Pierre Robert in France. He appeared as a guest soloist on international festivals, such as Festival de Verbier (Switzerland), the Early Music Festival in Utrecht, in Brussels and Antwerp, Germany, Israel, France, such as La Roque d’Anthéron, Chapelle Royale de Versailles, Saint Michel-en-Thiérache, La Chaise Dieu, the London Lufthansa Baroque Festival, Riga and Miami.
He made recordings for radio and television, CD’s by Alpha Records (with Ensemble Pierre Robert) and Brilliant Classics (Matthäus and Johannes Passion), and DVD by Challenge Classics (Agrippina – Combattimento Consort Amsterdam). Recently his solo-CD was released under Challenge Records Int. ‘Songs of Quest and Inspiration’, songs of R. Vaughan Williams and Cyril Scott.
(DUTCH information on the official website: www.robbertmuuse.com)
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