My last post was about my mad love affair with the countertenor voice. I now want to talk more about one countertenor in particular, the very talented Australian countertenor David Hansen. My favorite countertenor! 🙂
David was born in Sydney, and after his music studies he made his European début in 2004 for the Aix-en-Provence Festival in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas. After that his career has moved forward quite quickly with engagements in Australia, Europe, and the US. David is now an international countertenor star.
His repertoire is mainly in the field of baroque opera and oratorio, but this year he also performed Sonnets by the contemporary French composer Marc-André Dalbavie.
David performed in Norway for the first time in 2007 in the role of Tolomeo in Handel’s Giulio Cesare at The Norwegian opera.
Luckily for us Norwegians, David has since then had Oslo as his home base. This means that he performs often in Norway besides his international engagements. He also collaborates a lot with Norwegian artists and orchestras. Lucky us! 🙂
I’ve been so lucky this year to see and hear David in both opera and concerts here in Norway. In June I attended a performance of Monteverdi’s Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria at The Norwegian opera. A fantastic production where David had two or three roles, one in which he had three legs (!!!).
In June I flew across most of Norway to the northern town of Harstad to hear David in a solo concert of Handel and Vivaldi arias. What a wonderful concert! An experience for a life time!
In September I attended his performance of Dalbavie’s Sonnets in Oslo. This work was new to me, but everybody should experience this new work for countertenor live. I’m so happy I did.
Another concert is coming up in December when David will sing in Handel’s Messiah in Oslo! Lucky me! 🙂
David’s recording career has just started. He has recorded Music For Queen Mary by Purcell for EMI Classics, and Ottone in Vivaldi’s Griselda for Pinchgut Opera Live (available from Australia and soon on iTunes). The first two videos below is from that recording sessions (and that’s why David has a microphone attached to his head!).
And there’s so much to look forward to! David’s début solo recording will be out on Sony Classical in 2013.
David’s recent engagement was as Cherubino in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro at Teatro Verdi in Sassari. That was indeed a victory for the countertenor voice as the role of Cherubino is most often sung by a woman!
David has a fantastic, glorious, wonderful countertenor voice. And that’s not only my opinion as he gets great reviews for his performances! So remember his name: David Hansen. And remember this: David Hansen is truly the most talented Australian singer since Dame Joan Sutherland! Put your Melba toast away and listen! You will be amazed! 🙂
So let’s see and hear David in a sample of his performances.
The first two videos are David as Ottone in Vivaldi’s Griselda from Pinchgut Opera in Sydney in November/December 2011. First is the aria “Scocca dardi l’altero tuo ciglio” (which will blow your socks off!), followed by the aria “Dopo un’orrida procella”. The third video is David talking about his experiences with tackling the role of Ottone.
The last three videos are various concert performances: “Vivi, tiranno!” from Handel’s Rodelinda (which also will blow your socks off!), “Yet, can I hear that dulcet lay” from Handel’s The Choice of Hercules, and “Longe mala”, a motet by Vivaldi.
So now I’m sure you all will remember his name: David Hansen.
And David will indeed conquer the world.