Rameau’s Zoroastre in the original version

After having sung Ferrando in Cosi fan tutte at the Vlaamse Opera and the Evangelist in Saint Matthew’s Passion on tour with the Collegium Vocale Gent and Philippe Herreweghe, Reinoud Van Mechelen has once again delivered a brilliant performance with a repertory which suites him perfectly: Jean-Philippe Rameau.

We are talking about the rediscovery of the original version of the Tragédie lyrique Zoroastre from 1749 which was performed in concert version in a production of the Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles (CMBV) in Namur, Antwertp and Tourcoing few days ago. With Reinoud in the title-role surrounded by a first-class cast, the ensemble Les Ambassadeurs - La Grande Écurie and the Namur Chamber-Choir conducted by Alexis Kossenko.

Some press-cuts referring to this production:

“Unsurprisingly Reinoud Van Mechelen, nowadays equivalent of [Rameau’s favourite singer Pierre] Jéliote, is the sparkling star of the evening. His voice is as soft as cotton wool, his vocal delivery both powerful and tender, his vibrato well controlled and all this presented with an impeccable diction. His stage-performance is equally intriguing, bestowing Zoroastre both the strength of a mystical leader and the fragility of a tragic hero.“ (Forumopera) Link

„To be mentioned in the first place is the incandescent Zoroastre of Reinoud Van Mechelen having both phenomenal power and exquisite refinement at his command. He is doubtlessly one of the best, typically French „hautes-contres“ of our time. With impeccable diction he is carrying almost on his own the initiatory, stratospheric scenes of the second act evolving into heroic attitude in the more dramatic, suspense-packed moments of the third and fifth act“. (Resmusica) Link

“It is nowadays impossible to find better than the marvellous tenor Reinoud Van Mechelen! His luminous voice refined with subtle metal, his ardent sensibility, impeccable vocal technique and perfect diction are all equally impressive.“ (Bachtrack) Link

„Reinoud Van Mechelen embodies the title-role totally with a clear diction, an intense expressivity as well as with the metal of his mellow and above all radiant timbre, especially in the high register“. (Olyrix) Link

„Reinoud Van Mechelen fully copes with the challenges of the demanding role of Zoroastre. It requires from the performer to do equally justice to soft lyricism, to heroic attitude and to pure virtuosity as in the difficult vocalises of "Aimez-vous, aimez-vous sans cesse, / L’amour va lancer tous ses traits“. (Première Loge) Link

The production in concert version will be revived in autumn 2022 (in Compiègne on October 14th and Paris Théâtre des Champs-Elysées on October 16th) and the respective audio-recording will also be released then.

As Rameau suits him so well, Reinoud will soon be making his debut with the Opera de Paris in an opera by Rameau too (Mercure in Platée, opening night on June 17th).

All dates of performances.