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In Flanders’ Fields Vol. 91 - Hommage to Ria Bollen

In Flanders’ Fields Vol. 91 - Hommage to Ria Bollen

Ria Bollen

Phaedra
5412327920919 | PH 92091 | 1CD
Ria Bollen, contralto. “Chi farà che torni in vita? Chi al mio cor la renderà?” “Who can bring her back to life? Who can return her to my heart?” Orfeo sings in Gluck's masterpiece Orfeo ed Euridice. That is precisely the purpose of this cd: keeping alive the memory of the golden voice of the Belgian (Flemish) contralto Ria Bollen (b. 1942 in Sint-Truiden). It is possible to hear her again thanks to the historic live recordings on this CD. They bridge past and present, thus making everything present. This CD gathers a selection of a large number of live recordings made both at home and abroad, a selection that takes into account both the quality and the diversity of recorded performances. The time limit of a CD forced its compilers to make choices they sometimes found hard, compelling them to neglect certain aspects of Ria Bollen’s art. Ria Bollen deliberately decided to be a concert singer and to forgo opera, with one exception, the role of Geneviève in Claude Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande, in a production of the Brussels Royal Theater of la Monnaie/de Munt (at the time directed by Maurice Huisman). She also sang the part of Orfeo in a few concert performances of Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice.
Singing baroque, romantic and contemporary vocal music, including the lied repertoire, both well-known and less familiar, ensured her an international reputation. But she never forgot nor neglected the works of composers of her own country, like Peter Benoit (1834–1901), August De Boeck (1865–1937), Edgar Tinel (1854–1912), Lodewijk Mortelmans (1868–1952) and many others.