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Huub Claessens (Bass-Baritone)

Born: Ulestraten, the Netherlands

The Dutch bass-baritone, HubertA (Huub) Claessens, studied at the Conservatory of Music in Maastricht with Mya Besselink where he graduated Cum Laude in Voice, Opera and Classical Saxophone and he was awarded with the Edmond Hustinx Prize 1986. He then studied with Margreet Honig. During the prestigious Queen Elizabeth Competition in Brussels 1988 he was distinguished as Third Laureate and was also rewarded with the special ďEuropean Prize of the Art SongĒ, with highest recommandation by Elisabeth Schwarzkopf. This led to many song recitals all over the world, among others in Brussels, Vienna, Paris, Dublin and Tel-Aviv.

Huub Claessens made his opera debut in 1984 as Roberto in I Vespri Siciliani at the Netherlands Opera in Amsterdam conducted by Edo de Waart. He was engaged for two seasons and has taken part in Il Prigioniero (Dallapiccola), La Fianciulla del West, Parsifal and Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg as well as the role of Don Alfonso in Cosi fan tutte, Colline in La Boheme and in Debussyís Pelléas et Mélisande conducted by Michel Plasson. At Nationale Reisopera (The Netherlands) he interpreted through the years Samuel in Un Ballo in Maschera, Monterone in Rigoletto, Schaunard in La Boheme and Collatinus in Benjamin Brittenís Rape of Lucretia, followed by succesful appearances as Papageno and Sprecher in Zauberflöte and Masetto and Leporello in Don Giovanni, roles which he also performed throughout France, Spain and Ireland. More recently he sang in Erik Vosí beautiful production of Monteverdiís Orfeo with the same company.

Furthermore Huub Claessens appeared at the Salzburger Festspiele, the Wiener Staatsoper and Le Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris with the world-premiere of Die Schwarze Maske by Christof Penderecki under the supervision of Herbert von Karajan and sang the leading role of Young Sam in Leonard Bernsteinís A Quiet Place. From this point on, he was involved in many new creations. He sang the title-role in the worldpremiere of Walter Husí opera Orfeo in Brussels, Antwerp, Paris, Vienna, Lisboa, Berlin, Amsterdam etc. The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra invited him to perform the solopart in A Survivor of Warsaw by Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra conducted by Klaus Tennstedt ... He interpreted Orgon at the first production of Spiel von Liebe und Zufall by Helge Joerns at the Schwetzingen Festival in Germany. One of Huub's favourite parts is Nick Shadow in The Rakeís Progress by Igor Stravinsky, 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 the title role of Hiero by Guus Janssen (world creation). Huub Claessens also interpreted Lucifer in Adam in ballingschap the latest opera by Rob Zuidam at the Netherlands Opera in Amsterdam. Maestro Laurent Petitgirard invited Huub to sing the title role in his opera Le Guru, that wil be revied in Paris in 2013-2014.

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 from Heinrich Schütz to Penderecki and even Gershwin and Cole Porter. Equally at home in opera as musical, he has been performing amongst others Dr. Doolittle in My Fair Lady. He has participated in numerous radio and television recordings in Holland, Belgium, Ireland, Israel, Austria, Germany, France and Japan and can be heard on many CD recordings.

Huub Claessens can look back on an impressive number of Baroque productions : Admeto, Jephha, Imeneo and Samson. This gave him the opportunity to work with Nicholas McGegan, Roy Goodman, Charles Farncombe and others. His first appearance with La Petite Bande conducted by Sigiswald Kuijken was as Don Alfonso in Cosi fan tutte, recorded live in Budapest during a tour in 1992. He participated as well in their 1995 European tour with Mozartís Don Giovanni as Leporello, also recorded live, and in 1998 he sang the Count Almaviva during their tour and recording of Le Nozze di Figaro. With the same orchestra he also appeared in Antonio Antonio Caldaraís I Disingannati, at Festwochen der Alte Musik in Innsbruck, eventually he pariticpated in concert tours to Japan, Portugal, Spain, Austria, Switzerland and France singing the bass-parts in oratorioís such as Haydnís Creation, Mozartís Requiem and J.S. Bachís St. Johnís Passion (BWV 245). This brings us to France, to Jean-Claude Malgoire and his orchestra La Grande Écurie et la Chambre du Roy. Huub Claessens participated in a large number of his productions : Don Giovanni (Leporello), Le Nozze di Figaro (Figaro), Die Zauberflöte, (Papageno, Sprecher and Sarastro) and La Clemenza di Tito (Publio). In 1997 they invited him to produce, sing and conduct a lo ng tour with concert-arias by Mozart, the charming opera Il Maestro di Capella by Cimarosa and some instrumental pieces by Mozart. This was after Mr. Claessens made his conducting debut with the Noordholland Philharmonic Orchestra in Haarlem.

Apart from all this Huub Claessens is well-known as a concert singer. He performed the St. Johnís Passion (BWV 245), the St. Matthew's Passion (BWV 244) (a.o. in Japan and Europe with Michel Corboz), Ein Deutsches Requiem by Johannes Brahms, Verdiís and Gabriel Fauréís Requiem, George Frideric Handelís Messiah and more than 80 other oratorios and concert-pieces in the finest concert halls such as the Queen Elisabeth Hall in London, Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels, the Palacio de Congresos y Auditos in La Coruna (Spain) and the Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.

Recenty Huub Claessens created the French premiere of Blanche-Neige (role: Le miroir) by German composer Marius-Felix Lange at Opéra national du Rhin (Strasbourg) with revival at Athénée-Théâtre Louis Jouvet (Paris, April 2013). Last season (2011-2012) Huub Claessens participated in the world creation of Der Turm, by IRCAM composer Claude Lenners, commissioned by the Grand Théâtre du Luxembourg (directed van Waut Koeken). More recently he created the role of Asa in the opera Andreas weent by the Dutch composer Peter-Jan Wagemans, together with Radio Kamer Filharmonie led by Schoenwandt > Concertgebouw A'Dam, Vara-Matinee October 20, 2012. Huub Claessens already participated in the world creation of Peter-Jan Wagemans' opera De legende at DNO Amsterdam (2011).

Amongst his future projects : Leporello in a new and thrilling semi-staged production led by Bart Van Reyn.


Source: Ariën Artists Website (2013)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (November 2013)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Sigiswald Kuijken


BWV 245 [2nd, Video, Jesus]

Links to other Sites

Ariën Artists: Hubert Claessens - English biography
Huub Claessens - Blog - Discografy (

Huub Claessens (Vlaamse Opera) [Dutch]

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Last update: Monday, May 29, 2017 01:15