Countertenors

Remember the 2011 Norway attacks: Music for comfort and hope

Five years have passed since the two terrible sequential terrorist attacks in Norway on 22 July 2011 known as “The 2011 Norway attacks”, in Norway just as “22 July” (“22. juli”). The lone wolf terrorist killed 77 persons an injured over four times as many.

I haven’t really got anything to add to what’s been said before during the last five years. You come to a point were there’s no words left. It’s all been said before, and even better by others. The important thing is to remember those who died, to honour their legacy, and to never let this happen again. To anybody.

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All I can offer here is music. I strongly believe in the power of music. Music can express love, loss, longing, anger and despair. Music can comfort, help and heal. Music can give people strength and hope.

The days, weeks and months that followed the 2011 attacks really showed the world the strengths of Norwegian society. It also showed that music really can give comfort and hope to people. The terrible facts remain: 77 lives are gone forever, mostly young people. Just starting out on their life’s journey. That’s still so hard to comprehend, even today.

If music can give some comfort and hope to somebody out there struggling I offer five beautiful arias, the first three sung by Pavarotti and the last two sung by the countertenor David Hansen:

  • “Caro mio ben” by Giordani
  • “Che farò senza Euridice” from “Orfeo e Euridice” by Gluck
  • “O figli miei … Ah, la paterna mano” from “Macbeth# by Verdi
  • “Ombra mai fu” from “Serse” by Handel
  • “When I am laid in earth” from “Dido and Aeneas” by Purcell

The photo above is from the Oslo government quarter where the 2011 attacks started. The H block (the tallest building) was housing the Office of the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Justice and the Police (the lowest building is the Y block). The photo is taken in August 2011, under a month after the attacks.

Never forget the 2011 Norway attacks!

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This blog post no. 313 was first published 22-07-2016. Last revision 22-07-2016.

Australian countertenor David Hansen handles Handel so well!

The wonderful Australian countertenor David Hansen is fantastic in Handel! David handles Handel so well! 🙂

Here are five samples of David in Handel. The arias are in running order:

  • Destructive war from Belshazzar
  • Lunga serie from Parnasso in festa
  • Quella flamma from Arminio
  • Vivi, tiranno! from Rodelinda
  • Se in fiorito from Giulio Cesare

Bravissimo, David! 🙂

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If you want more of David in Handel the place to be is Stockholm in Sweden the coming months. In September – November he will sing the role of Arsamene in the Handel opera Serse (Xerxes) together with Malena Ernman in the title role.

For more information on David in Handel’s Serse in Stockholm see here. This production premieres 12th September 2014.

You could follow David on his web site, Facebook and Twitter.

This post was first published 10-09-2014. Last revision 11-09-2014.

Odd Pavarotti Blog is 5 years!

Odd Pavarotti Blog celebrates its 5 years of existence today! I can’t believe that it has gone 5 years already, but’s true: On May 1st 2009 I started this blog about the great Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti (1935-2007).

I wrote this in my very first blog post:

Hopefully this blog will be interesting for all Pavarotti’s fans, also the ardent ones. It will sometimes be somewhat funny or odd as the perspectives taken on Pavarotti’s art, life and legacy will take many odd turns and twists.

I hope I’ve been able to do at least a bit of what I initially intended thru these 5 yeas of blogging. I also hope you have liked, or at least accepted when I’ve gone somewhat off topic, writing about my countertenor madness, and more.

File photo of Pavarotti waving to spectators during his concert at Red Square in Moscow

So thank you very much for visiting my blog and for interacting with me! I especially want to thank my almost 400 followers who are following this blog via Word Press, FacebookTwitter and Google+. Many thanks as well to those who follow my play lists on Spotify and YouTube.

And there’s more: Two years ago today I started my odd journey on Twitter! So happy Twitterversary to me! 🙂

I hope that you all will continue to visit Odd Pavarotti Blog in the future! And if you’re not already a follower, why not start following Odd Pavarotti Blog? 🙂

Look out for more blog posts about Pavarotti (and some other things as well …). Look especially out for more anniversary blog posts thru this jubilee year! 🙂

As I’m writing this I’m listening to Pavarotti singing Inno delle Nazioni (Hymn of the Nations) by Giuseppe Verdi. I feel that this is the most appropriate greeting to all my readers, who in fact comes from all over the globe.

Grazie! Mille grazie!

This post was originally published 01-05-2014. Last revision 01-05-2014.

Tenor vs. countertenor: Per la gloria d’adorarvi

Yes, I’m a tenor man, but my mad love affair with the countertenor voice continues. It’s time once again to compare the tenor voice with the countertenor voice!

Here is the same aria sung twice. First by a tenor, then by a countertenor. The aria is Per la gloria d’adorarvi from Bononcini’s Griselda.

It goes without saying that the tenor is Luciano Pavarotti. The countertenor is the wonderful German Jochen Kowalski. Only the best in the business (as always)!

The Pavarotti recording can be found on his studio album Pavarotti in concert. The Kowalski recording can be found on his album Arien aus der Berliner Operngeschichte (Arias from Berlin’s operatic history), a highly recommended introduction to Jochen Kowalski’s countertenor voice.

Which version do you like best? Tenor or countertenor? Is it possible to like them both? I think so!

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Read more about my writings on countertenors here!

This post was originally published 07-02-2014. Last revision 07-02-2014.

Countertenor David Hansen in Norwegian television interview

As some of you might know, the wonderful Australian countertenor David Hansen lives in Norway.

David made an interview on Norwegian television in September this year. The interview took place on the talk show “Lindmo” on the public broadcaster NRK, on its channel 1, on 14 September 2013.

The talk show host was Anne Lindmo, and the other guest together with David was the Norwegian rock singer Anne Grete Preus.

david-hansen-lindmo

The interview with David started in Norwegian, then shifted back and forth between English and Norwegian, which made the interview “a wonderful lingual confused conversation”, as the host concluded.

Below is the YouTube video of this interview with David. Miguel Pérez Valiente has added the English subtitles. Translation of the Norwegian dialogue into English is made by yours truly, aka. Odd Pavarotti Blog. Miguel put this all together and published the video. Muchas gracias, Miguel!

And guess what! The interview also contains David singing the aria “Son qual nave ch’agitata” from Artaserse by Riccardo Broschi. You can listen to this aria and many more wonderful arias on David’s debut solo album Rivals.

Read about and listen more to David here and here!

Enjoy this wonderful countertenor in this charming interview! And when you hear him perform you will definitely want to come back for more!

All of you will remember his name now: David Hansen.

And David continues to conquer the world.

Bravissimo, David!

You could follow David on his web site, Facebook or Twitter.

This post was originally published 29-11-2013. Last revision 29-11-2013.

More glorious singing from countertenor David Hansen

About ten months ago I wrote my first blog post on this very blog about the very talented Australian countertenor David Hansen. Since then David has become even more known and appreciated throughout the world.

I’m sure there are better ways in measuring David’s rising popularity than this, but my first blog post about David is my most popular blog post ever! Be that as it may. What is quite clear is that more and more people out there are discovering David’s wonderful voice!

So it’s time to present more glorious singing from the wonderful Australian countertenor David Hansen! Here we go!

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Let’s start with some Handel arias! In the first video David Hansen sings  “Quella flamma” from Arminio with Nicholas Daniel on oboe from a concert at the Risør Chamber Music Festival in Risør, Norway in 2012. What a magnificent musical collaboration!

In the next video David Hansen sings “Se in fiorito” from Giulio Cesare with Øyvind Bjorå on violin. I believe the video is from a performance around 2010-2011 in Oslo, Norway. Wonderful!

I’m just thinking … Wouldn’t that performance be even better with a dove and a full orchestra? Let’s see! David Hansen sings together with the violinist Øyvind Bjorå and the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by John Helmer Fiore in a performance from 2010 at the Norwegian Opera in Oslo. What a classy and fun performance!

The fourth video is also the last Handel video in this blog post. For more videos where David sings Handel see my first blog post about him. In this video David Hansen sings “He was despised” from Messiah with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra conducted by Graham Abbott. I’ve heard David sing Messiah live two times. Lucky me!

After Handel it must be time for some Vivaldi! David performed the role of Ottone in the Vivaldi opera Griselda at the Pinchgut Opera in Sydney in November/December 2011.  See my first blog post about David for two more wonderful arias from that opera. In the next video David Hansen sings the aria “Vede orgogliosa l’onda”. Orchestra of the Antipodes is conducted by Erin Helyard. I have no words!

We end this David Hansen extravaganza with Mozart. In 2012 David performed the role Cherubino in the Mozart opera Le Nozze di Figaro at Teatro Verdi in Sassari in Italy. In the last video David Hansen sings “Voi che sapete” from the rehearsals on 28th October 2012. This could indeed be considered a victory for the countertenor voice as the role of Cherubino is most often sung by a woman! Bravo, David!

This year has already been a wonderful year for David with several engagements in opera and oratorios, as well as many solo concerts, in Europe and in Australia.

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Recently David’s début solo recording Rivals was released on Deutsche Harmonia Mundi (a Sony Classical label) on CD, for download on iTunes and for streaming on Spotify and elsewhere. Rivals has received many great reviews. Surely this must be the countertenor CD of the year! Read about and listen to samples from Rivals on my blog post.

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This fall David is performing at the Norwegian Opera in Oslo in his debut as Prince Go-Go in the Ligeti opera Le Grand Macabre. I was so lucky to see the première and David was wonderful in this very demanding role.

In December this year David will return to his home country Australia to sing the title role in the Cavalli opera Giasone at the Pinchgut Opera in Sydney. I guess you haven’t missed the poster for this performance at the top of this blog post? This and so much more to look forward to!

We all remember his name now: David Hansen.

And David has indeed conquered the world.

Bravissimo, David!

You could follow David on his web site, Facebook or Twitter.

This post was originally published 13-09-2013. Last revision 13-09-2013.

Countertenor CD of the year: “Rivals” by David Hansen

There are many new countertenor albums out this year. Some albums are already out, and some will be released in the coming months. For lovers of the countertenor voice every one of these albums are worth mentioning.

However, one countertenor release of 2013 simply demands special attention: Rivals, the debut solo album by the Australian countertenor David Hansen.

The full album title is Rivals: Arias for Farinelli & Co., and contains nine arias that were sung by Farinelli and his castrato rivals: Caffarelli, Carestini, Bernacchi among others.

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Arias sung by Farinelli and his contemporaries have been recorded before, but what is great with this album is that eight of the nine arias are world première recordings. Alessandro de Marchi conducts Academia Montis Regalis Orchestra.

Rivals will be released on Deutsche Harmonia Mundi (a Sony Classical label)  on CD, for download on iTunes and for streaming on Spotify in late August (in some countries in early September).

Listen to samples from all album tracks, and watch the videos below. The first video is about the album and the last two is about two of the arias on the album.

What a promising debut! Surely this must be the countertenor CD of the year!

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This post was originally published 16-08-2013. Last revision 16-08-2013.