Opera Scotland

Jan Derksen Suggest updates

Born Alkmaar, 1932.

Died Amsterdam, 10 March 2004.

Dutch baritone.

Jan Derksen was one of the leading Dutch singers of the sixties and seventies, initially as a baritone, specialising in the Verdi repertoire. He also later enjoyed a period singing leading tenor roles, including Otello.

He trained at the Amsterdam Conservatory, singing in student productions of Così fan tutte and Giulio Cesare. Several seasons followed with minor German houses, where roles included Attila at Bremerhaven (1964) and Posa at Trier (1965).

Later Verdi roles included Nabucco, Macbeth and Iago. He performed Francesco Foscari in 1980, and sang Renato/Ackarström in Un ballo in maschera for Riccardo Muti in Florence (1971). He repeated the role in 1975 in the joint Scottish and Dutch co-production. He returned to Scotland for Simon Boccanegra but does not appear to have sung elsewhere in Britain.

Non-Verdi repertoire included Wozzeck and Scarpia. The tenor roles he tried in Amsterdam in the eighties included Canio, Parsifal and Otello.

He created roles in two Dutch works, both premiered in Amsterdam, Naima (Theo Loevendie 1985) and Symposion (Peter Schat 1994).

Roles in Scotland

Anckarström friend to the king (Renato)
Masked Ball 1975
Simon Boccanegra a Genoese corsair, later Doge
Simon Boccanegra 1978

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