Flemish opera singer gives impromptu performance amid coronavirus shutdown
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Flemish opera singer gives impromptu performance amid coronavirus shutdown

Amid a nationwide coronavirus shutdown, opera soloist Wilfried Van den Brande treated Antwerp residents to an impromptu performance from his balcony. Credit: Radio 2 Antwerpen/Facebook

Antwerp residents clustered inside their homes amid the coronavirus lockdown were treated to a surprise performance by a world-class Belgian opera singer on Thursday.

Cued in by a trumpeter stationed in a balcony opposite him, the bass-baritone voice of Wilfried Van den Brande ripped through the quiet atmosphere of a residential street in central Antwerp.

Curious onlookers were drawn out on their balconies as a few passers-by filed into the street to enjoy Van den Brande’s rendering of the American jazz standard ‘Summertime.’

Operazanger eert zorgverleners in hartje Antwerpen

In de Rudolfstraat in Antwerpen kon je gisteren om 20u operazanger Wilfried Van den Brande horen zingen. Samen met zijn buurt stak hij alle zorgverleners in tijden van #Corona een hart onder de riem.En of het knap was.https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2020/03/20/antwerps-operazanger-wilfried-van-den-brande-zingt-voor-zorgverl/?fbclid=IwAR1Qo8IZot2ZO7Vvytrt1o15TVk4QfEGq6uW4D01kLE_KHnHMcW0gXOKSvA

Posted by Radio 2 Antwerpen on Thursday, March 19, 2020

The impromptu performance came as dozens across Belgium took part in a collective show of support for medical staff on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Cheered and thanked by his homebound neighbours for his performance, Van den Brande told Radio 2 Antwerp that his goal was to show support to people feeling “isolated and anxious” in the current situation.

While Van den Brande said that his choice of song was best suited to a soprano, he said he hoped that he could get a pass given the current situation.

The Flemish opera singer, an enthusiast of American singer-songwriter, Cole Porter, has performed with opera houses and theatres across Belgium, from Brussels’ La Monnaie to the Vlaamse Opera, the Royal Flemish Philharmonic or the Muziektheater Transparant.

Abroad, he has taken to the stage alongside the Orchestra Filarmonica Italiana, Germany’s Heidelberger Symphoniker or Vienna’s, Wiener Schubertensemble, among other stints with companies in Spain or England.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times