JULES BASTIN, BASSE CHANTANTE
BASTIN was born in Waterloo in 1933. He was a Belgian operatic bass who made his debut in 1960 at La Monnaie, singing Charon in L'Orfeo. He appeared at major opera houses throughout Europe, including the Royal Opera House, La Scala, and the Palais Garnier; he also sang at opera houses in North and South America. He was known for playing roles from a variety of operatic traditions, from Monteverdi to Berg, but he was perhaps most famous for singing the comic role of Ochs in Richard Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier.
Bastin began his career as a teacher of German, French and history before turning to professional singing. After becoming successful in opera, he continued to teach music at the Royal Music Conservatory in Brussels.
Surely one of the very best bass singers of his day, he was renowned for his extraordinarily beautiful French.
Here is his famous "Air de Frère Laurent: "Pauvres enfants" (Roméo et Juliette), H. Berlioz:
Air du Père : " Les pauvres gens" (Louise), G. Charpentier:
O Holy Night (French version):
Bastin died in Brussels on 2 December 1996.