I’m a tenor man. Of course I am! As a Pavarotti fan I do like the tenor voice, and not only the voice of Pavarotti. I love other voices a well, and in various genres such as opera, classical, pop, soul and jazz.
In the last years I’ve discovered the countertenor voice and that has blown my mind into stratospheric bliss. Over and over again. So I’m just confessing to you right now: I’m so madly in love with the countertenor voice! And how could I not!? And I so got to write this blog post!
First of all: Forget about the countertenors jokes and myths. Listen to the voice. That will give you the kick you need.
It looks to me that the countertenor voice has gained more popularity in recent years, both in the public and in the music profession. In fact, in many modern opera productions the countertenor is now given male roles previous given to women (as trouser roles aka. breeches roles).
In fact, the countertenors are taking back the castrato roles in operas. I’m so ready for more countertenors in opera! And more male voices in general! Let men sing the male roles! Let men be men!
There’s also been a renaissance for the baroque operatic and vocal repertoire such as Handel and Vivaldi, a repertoire where countertenors really are at home. Another musical discovery for me! Double bliss!
There are lots of countertenors out there, and many of them have become quite succesful on the operatic stage, in solo concerts and as recording artists. Here are eight countertenors of the many out there at the moment:
For me the countertenors experience started with the German Andreas Scholl. His record company at the time, Decca Classics, tried to label him “The Clark Kent of classical music”, but that wasn’t a keeper. Andreas Scholl is the first and so far the only countertenor to sing at the BBC Last Night of the Proms. Andreas Scholl sings “Ombra Mai Fu” from the Handel’s Serse.
The American David Daniels is another popular countertenor, and here he sings “Venti turbini” from Handel’s Rinaldo.
Another countertenor to explore is the French Philippe Jaroussky. This young French man looks like his is about to start at the university, but in three or four years time! Philippe Jaroussky sings “Vedro con mio diletto” from Vivaldi’s Giustino.
The Croatian born but Austrian based Max Emanuel Cencic is another of the young rising countertenors. Max Emanuel Cencic sings “Se bramate d’amar chi vi sdegna” from Handel’s Serse.
Aren’t you hocked yet? Here’s your last chance to get overwhelmed by the countertenor voice! And if this doesn’t do it for you I can’t help you!
I’ve saved the best for last. Australian David Hansen is my favorite countertenor. Let’s leave it with that. For the moment.
More about David Hansen in my next post!
Are you hocked on countertenors now?