Van Mellaerts

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Julien Van Mellaerts became the shooting star of the evening in the title role of Figaro. The young New Zealander is still unknown on the opera stage, but his charisma and vocal elegance were in no way inferior to the Count of Florian Boesch
Figaro: Le nozze di Figaro / Salzburg Mozart Week / Das Opernmagazin, Feb 01, 2020
In his two solos, Julien Van Mellaerts gives a strong, honest performance, full of authority
Brahms: Ein deutsches Requiem / Ensemble Aedes / Bachtrack, Jun 01, 2022


Praised for his “charisma and vocal elegance” by Das Opernmagazin, multi-award-winning New Zealand baritone Julien Van Mellaerts is highly sought after as both a recitalist and on the operatic stage. He won first prize in both the prestigious Wigmore Hall International Song Competition and the Kathleen Ferrier Awards, and represented New Zealand at BBC Cardiff Singer of the World in 2019. A graduate of the Royal College of Music International Opera School, and recipient of the coveted Tagore Gold Medal, Van Mellaerts has had great success in recent role and house debuts at the Verbier Festival, Salzburg Mozartwoche, Opéra National de Lorraine, Opera Holland Park, and New Zealand Opera.

In the 2023/24 season, Van Mellaerts sings his first Wozzeck in the New Zealand premiere of the work with Orchestra Wellington; role debut of Frank in Puccini’s Edgar at Opera Holland Park; Frédéric in Lakmé at the Cadogan Hall; a return to the Israeli Opera as Schaunard in La Bohème; and a return to New Zealand Opera for his role debut as Guglielmo in Cosí fan tutte. Julien also covers the title role in Albéric Magnard's opera Guercœur at the Opera du Rhin in Strasbourg.

Concert and recital performances include returns to the Wigmore Hall, Oxford International Song Festival, and Presteigne Festival; Bach and Vaughan Williams with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales with Harry Bicket, the fourth season of his song series Opera in Song at Opera Holland Park co-curated with Dylan Perez, Schwanengesang/The Lake at Casa de las Artes in Porto; and the release of Songs of the Night on Champs Hill Records with Lucy Colquhoun and Rowan Pierce, and Francis Poulenc: Les oeuvres de sa jeunesse with the Manchester Camerata and John Andrews on Resonus Classics (April 2024).

Previous operatic engagements have included Figaro Le nozze di Figaro and Masetto Don Giovanni at the Salzburg Mozartwoche, Papageno, Masetto and Die Einäugige Die Frau ohne Schatten at the Verbier Festival, Oreste Iphigénie en Tauride Opéra National de Lorraine, Count Almaviva Le nozze di Figaro Opera Holland Park, Silvio I Pagliacci at the Israeli Opera, Duke of Nottingham Roberto Devereux at the Badisches Staatstheater, Garibaldo Rodelina at the Göttingen International Handel Festival (on Accent Records/DVD), Ned Keen Peter Grimes St Endellion Festival, The Ferryman Curlew River in Moscow, and he made his debut with the Royal Opera House, London, in ELIZABETH with the Royal Ballet.

In concert and recital, Van Mellaerts has sung Mahler Des Knaben Wunderhorn with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra with Jonathon Heyward, Vaughan Williams with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall, Brahms Ein Deutsches Requiem with Les Siècles and Ensemble Aedes on tour in France, Beethoven with Symphonia Varsovia at La Folle Journée Nantes, Copland Old American Songs with Joensuu City Orchestra Finland, and Mahler Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen with the Israel Camerata. Recitals with Julius Drake, James Baillieu, Lucy Colquhoun, Simon Lepper, Joseph Middleton, Dylan Perez, João Araujo, Ian Tindale, and Jonathan Ware. He has toured for Chamber Music New Zealand and given recitals at the Wigmore Hall, Pierre Boulezsaal Berlin, Verbier Festival, Enniskillen International Beckett Festival, Juan March Fondación Madrid, Victoria de los Angeles Lied Festival (LIFE Victoria) Barcelona, Oxford International Song Festival, Leeds Lieder, London Song Festival, Opera Holland Park, Fondation Royaumont, Piano Salon Christophori Berlin, Temple Song London, Royal Opera House, BBC Glenarm Festival of Voice.

A highly sought after recording artist, Van Mellaerts’ debut album Songs of Travel and Home (Champs Hill Records) was released in 2021 to critical acclaim. He also features on Samuel Barber: The Complete Songs (Resonus Classics), Russell Pascoe: A secular requiem (Regent CD), Gareth Farr’s Where Will They Bury My Bones? (Songbroker NZ), Songs of the Night (Champs Hill Records) and The Travelling Companion Stanford (SOMM records). His performance of Wozzeck Berg will be released by SOUNZ and Radio New Zealand Concert later this year.

Van Mellaerts studied music and languages at the University of Otago in New Zealand before moving to London to continue his studies at the Royal College of Music, where has also been a member of staff teaching English Song since 2021. He has been generously supported by the Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation and is also an alumnus of the Verbier Festival Academy, Heidelberger Frühling Lied Academy, Samling Institute, Bayreuth Festspiele Stipendium and lauréat of Fondation Royaumont. He now lives in Paris, France.

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