FLANDERS OPERA CHORUS
The Flanders Opera Chorus was founded in 1989 and was subsequently conducted by Peter Burian, Simon Halsey, Andrew Wise and Kurt Bikkembergs. Peter Burian undertook the task of forming a professional opera and concert chorus, and on his appointment as chorus master at the Vienna State Opera in 1991, Simon Halsey was appointed his successor. Halsey led the chorus in such highlights as Parsifal, Der fliegende Holländer, La rondine, and Turandot, as well as a memorable performance of Britten’s War Requiem. Peter Burian later returned to Flanders Opera for a successful second tenure. From 2002 the Belgian conductor and composer Kurt Bikkembergs has been chorus director, conducting world premières of Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Piet Swerts) and Richard III (Giorgio Battistelli), the Belgian première of Le Grand Macabre (Ligeti), and, among other works, Fidelio, Il Trittico, Ariodante, Jenůfa, Carmen, Nabucco and Les Pêcheurs de perles. The Flanders Opera chorus covers a wide variety of styles, from baroque, Mozart, Verdi and Wagner to twentieth-century repertoire. The chorus has worked with guest conductors including Celso Antunes, Georg Leopold, Jan Vuye and Jef Smits.