Willem Verkerk

Willem Verkerk sings La traviata: Dei miei bollenti spiriti
In RA format

Willem Verkerk sings La traviata: Parigi, o cara, with Bella Jasper
In RA format

Largely a mystery tenor. He made two LPs: highlights from Traviata, as Alfredo; and highlights from Trovatore, as Ruiz. Both belonged to a series of "highlights" records, all with the Nürnberg Symphony Orchestra and the chorus of the Bavarian State Opera Munich, and conducted by Hanspeter Gmür. The singers are mostly well-known (or at least better known than Verkerk), and most of them were at some time (though not at the same time) connected to one of the Bavarian opera theaters: Munich (State Opera and Gärtnerplatztheater), Nürnberg and Regensburg. Singers concerned are Bella Jasper, Rudolf Knoll, Eva Illes and Ernst Wiemann; Illes, Hungarian-born, came to West Germany only in 1967, so those LPs must have been recorded after that date. There's a certain probability, thus, that also Willem Verkerk was associated with one of those Bavarian opera theaters (most certainly not the Bavarian State Opera, or he would have to be much better known); but of course, he could also be one of the singers with no Bavarian connections on that LP series (like Ruth Hesse, the star of the group, and José Maria Perez).

The only definitive fact about Verkerk is that he was later a voice instructor with the Domsingknaben, a Catholic boys' choir in Freiburg.

Reference: Raimund Hug: 40 Jahre Freiburger Domsingknaben. Ein Rückblick, in: Freiburger Diözesanarchiv, vol. 131, 2011

I would like to thank Georges Cardol for the recordings.

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