401Concerts 25 Een goedemorgen met René Seghers

RSpurpleOn Saturday July 4, 2020, I hosted the popular Dutch AVRO/TROS radio-program 'Goodmorning with... René Seghers' on Dutch National classic radio. At the center of the program was my musical journey of the past 30 years. My books on Franco Corelli, Jacques Brel and  Hariclea Darclée (the first Tosca) are present. Naturally, the focus is on my 401DutchOperas project. With a plenitude of surprising highlights from operas by Jan van Gilse (a world premiere), Govert Bidloo/Vondel (another world premiere), Eduard De Hartog, Jan Brandts Buys, graaf Jacob Jan van Wassenaer Obdam, Peter Benoit, Constant van de Wall, the brothers Von Brucken Fock and Willem Frederik Gerard Nicolaï. Then there are the Beethoven reconstructions by Cees Nieuwenhuizen, including Vestas Feuer, which he made for 401DutchOperas.

The central singers in the 401Concerts series come to pass: Jolien De Gendt, Barbara Schilstra, Elise Caluwaerts, Barbara Kozelj, Denzil Delaere, Hendrik Vonk, Marcel Reijans, Hans de Vries, pianists Wolter Willemsen and Pieter Dhoore, conductor Albert Jan Roelofs and the amorettes of Ivette van Laar!! Magda Olivero, Franco Corelli, Sjakie Brel, Günther Treptow and Richard Wagner chime in.

A major new insight is presented when the fairy-tale that proclaims Dutch operas to be impopular, is ridiculed. Seghers: 'All (very rare) performances of pre-war Dutch operas that I attended since 2007 were sold out! The same goes for all contemporary DNO premieres: all sold out! Try getting tickets for Peter Benoit's 'De Oorlog' in Tivoli-Vredenburg in november 2020:  no way – that performance was already sold out in february!!! I may be quoted as follows: 'DutchFlemisch opera is the MOST popular part of the entire local classical music scene. Clearly, the audience is not to be blamed for the fact that so few titles are performed. Programmers, ensembles, opera companies and theater directors looking for a full house may call me for spectacular productions.''

Luisteren naar de uitzending

Link to the NPO-broadcast of Een goedemorgen met René Seghers op NPO-4

'A Goodmorning with René Seghers' UNCUT (edit 401NederlandseOperas):

Because the broadcast spanned 2 hours exactly, some musical pieces were shortened and the Thijl 'Mourning music' had to be cut alltogether. We have edited an UNCUT version with the original, likewise uncut, track instered and the deleted Thijl piece restored.

The intro text of the program

Author, music journalist and critic René Seghers studied philosophy at the University of Amsterdam. He concuded his studies in philosophy with a thesis on the relation between Nietzsche and Wagner, which posed a few inconvenient truths to his examinators. In fact, his conclusion was that, as a philosopher, Nietzsche was a Wagner epigone. Such conclusion were a bit too adventurous for an academic career. For seven years Seghers travelled from Ireland to Japan with the poem 'Undestined'.

He became a passionate music philosopher and art publicist, debuting with De Groene Amsterdammer and the monthly calassical music magazine Luister. As arts editor he publishes in Villa d'Arte. 

His books include the American biography of Franco Corelli | Prince of Tenors, published with Hall/Leonard New York (2008). Next came his biography of sailor-singer Jacques Brel for Tirion/Lannoo. He also published the jubilee book on the history of the International Vocal Competition 's-Hertogenbosch (2014). Since 1988, he worked 30 years on the (as yet unublished) biography of the first Tosca, Hariclea Darclée.

In 2008, Seghers became fascinated by the mysterious world of Dutch and Flemish opera. Part one of his 401DutchOperas handbook in 5 volumes is now finished. This focuses on Dutch baroque operas. On August 2, 2020, Seghers and the Nederlands Muziek instituut organizes a concert with no less han 30 highlights from the first volume of his book. Among these are unknown opera fragments from operas by Beethoven/Nieuwenhuizen and Vondel, the long considered lost first Frisian opera, and a work of the first Haarlem born composer who send the first Dutch/French opera character to the Moon!