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Biography

Approved for all ages.

Stijn Saveniers is a multifaceted conductor, cellist and researcher.


He is the artistic director of his own comic music theatre company, Volksopera Antwerp; as a cellist and regularly as a conductor he is a fixed member of the Antwerp based contemporary music ensemble HERMES; and as a researcher he is connected to the Royal Conservatoire Antwerp, where he collaborated, apart from his ongoing research into musical comedy, in projects on Charles Lecocq, Pierre Suremont, La Malibran and Joseph Ryelandt.


Stijn Saveniers studied at the conservatories of Leuven (Belgium) and Maastricht (the Netherlands), where he obtained, both for cello and orchestral conducting, his Masters degree with greatest distinction. In addition, he was awarded the Hustinckx Price in 2006. This triennial price is awarded to the most promising young talent.


From then onwards he conducted a wide variety of productions: opera, operetta, ballet, symphonic and chamber orchestra repertoire, oratory and contemporary music.

His special affinity with the human voice, in combination with an extensive experience as a pianist-répétiteur, led to his focus on the music theatre repertoire, with highlights such as the creation in Kuwait in 2015 of the very first original Arabic opera, Opera Deira, in Kuwait, composed by Dr. Rasheed Albougaily and written by Dr. Ali Alanezi.


It became, however, abundantly clear that the often-neglected comic repertoire would define his signature style, combining humor and music in a mix of spoken word, parlando singing and great lyrical moments. He conducted productions of La Périchole, La Grande-duchesse de Gérolstein, Les Bavards & Mr. Choufleuri restera chez lui, La Fille du Tambour-Major (Offenbach), Der Vogelhändler (Zeller), Das Land des Lächelns(Lehar), Eine Nacht in Venedig, Die Fledermaus (Strauss), Clivia (Dostal), Les Mousquetaires au couvent(Varney), La Belle de Cadix (Lopez).


His increasing sympathy for this genre made him discover many forgotten works, which became one of the reasons why, in 2014, he founded a comic music theatre company, Volksopera Antwerp.


Volksopera aims at both preserving this genre musically — its specific musical needs, sound expression in particular — and innovating the presentation of it through confrontation with today’s theatre paradigms.

All productions are based on the research that Stijn Saveniers conducts in the Royal Conservatoire Antwerp; within this research he publishes new critical editions of little known quality works.

The first productions of Volksopera included Le Docteur Miracle (Lecocq), Cox and Box & The Zoo (Sullivan), The Idea (Holst), Alles Schwindel (Spoliansky) and a research project with The Bear (Walton).

In the 2020 – 2021 Volksopera will perform L’île de Tulipatan (Offenbach) and will collaborate as a coproducing partner of the Dutch company Opera Compact on a new Don Giovanni production.


In the following months, to round up the season, a number of recordings remain planned; and the COVID-19 related regulations allow for more time to spend on writing arrangements and orchestrations.

 

©2020 by Stijn Saveniers.