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Ian Howell

Ian Howell is a countertenor based in Boston, Massachusetts. He regularly performs as a concert and operatic soloist all across North America and writes from time to time. He was educated at Yale and Capital Universities, sang with Chanticleer from 2000-04, and is currently a Doctor of Musical Arts student at the New England Conservatory of Music. Follow him on Twitter or Facebook.

http://www.ianhowellcountertenor.com

Feature: Are We Post-Anglican Yet? Part 1

January 1, 2011
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The Anglican Church was the keeper of a male alto sound that justly captured the imagination of the nascent early music movement. This article asks whether today’s countertenor sound is inherently tied to that tradition, as one cannot help but notice that recent generations of countertenors have found themselves less restricted to this aesthetic. This article aims to begin a conversation about what is inherent versus chosen in the countertenor sound, and – if you are a countertenor – we hope that you will take our brief survey on the subject.

Read More…


Are you a Countertenor? Take our Survey

January 1, 2011
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We want to know what you think the ideal countertenor sound is, what qualities you strive for in your own sound, and what experiences dictate the choices you make. Read our feature article this month, Are We Post-Anglican Yet: Part 1?, take our survey, and pass it along to your colleauges. Welcome to the Countertenor Voice community!

Read more…


Watch this Now! Ewa Podleś sings Vivaldi

January 1, 2011
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httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_lIp17J3nQ&feature=related

There are no words to adequately describe Ewa Podles’ voice, or her completely quirky way of delivering on stage. However, this performance of Orlando’s aria Nel Profondo Cieco Mondo from Antonio Vivaldi’s (1678-1741) opera Orlando Furioso (1727) is a great example of 1) a full commitment to the integrity of the line regardless of the coloratura and 2) setting the tempo so that you sound good singing all the little black notes. Others might try to sing this faster, but this performances is completely within her control and absolutely exciting! She performs here with the Russian State Chamber Orchestra conduced by Konstantin Orbelian.


The Final Word: We Want You!

January 1, 2011
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The Countertenor Voice is a new venture, and we need curious readers like you to spread the word. If you like what you have read here, tell your colleagues and repost our pieces on Facebook. If you are a writer and think that you would like to contribute to a future issue, send us an email through the contact page. We are interested in a wide variety of issues that surround the countertenor experience; upcoming stories include a piece on gender and embodiment issues, and repertory primers for aspiring singers. We would also like to receive suggestions for CDs and DVDs to review, and arias that you would like to see Counterpoints Publishing engrave.

We can’t do any of this without you! If you like what we have started, let the world know :-) .

Read more…


Watch This Now! Max Emanuel Cencic

November 28, 2010
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Countertenor Max Emanuel Cencic singing Ah che non posso from La Fida Ninfa by Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5veoSNqIg4

Ok, so this is far from a high fidelity-video (the audio is thin and the balance isn’t perfect ~ blame the camcorder microphone), however all you young countertenors out there take note: Cencic is able to sing without tension at the quiet end of his dynamic range, and crescendo seamlessly with consistent vibrato and color. This stable approach serves him equally well on the highest pitches he sings here.  He never pushes to make his voice work.

This is very stable and well setup singing, consistently vibrant and vitalized. Keep this in your ears as you are practicing; don’t give into the lure of ‘success’ by any means. :-)


Watch This Now! Chanticleer

November 26, 2010
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Chanticleer’s stylistic departure into indie-rock is a great feature for first year member, Casey Breves.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sl12ZXZeqa4&feature=player_embedded#!

This video (shot entirely with webcams and cell phones) gives you a little insight into what touring year-round is like.


The New York Times has the adjectives, but does it know what it is describing?

November 24, 2010
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Following the recent New York Times article on countertenors via a feature on Philippe Jaroussky (Who Can Resist a Man Who Sings Like a Woman? by Fernanda Eberstadt), I stumbled upon a critique by Bernard Gordillo (who deftly beat us to the punch). The NYTimes article once again brings up the old question of whether a countertenor is a genuine male voice type, or a feminine affectation.


The Countertenor Voice: An Online Journal

November 23, 2010
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Welcome to The Countertenor Voice – By Countertenors, For Countertenors

Our inaugural post…

You can feel it, right… that ‘tingle on the back of your neck’ sense that something big is about to happen in the countertenor world? Perhaps you are an aspiring countertenor looking for appropriate repertory, technical resources, or an online community to help answer your questions? You might be a voice teacher trying to understand how to work with a countertenor, or maybe like us, you are a professional performer in search of a curious community. There is certainly a good deal of misinformation out there about what countertenors do and how they do it, and we are here to be a source of clarity and information for all. [...]


Our Official Launch 1/1/11

November 23, 2010
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Check back with us on January 1st, 2011 when we launch Issue 1 of The Countertenor Voice as well as our first selection of impeccably edited, countertenor appropriate scores at Counterpoints Publishing.


Watch This Now! Lawrence Zazzo

November 23, 2010
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httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4m4Di-aXBs&feature=player_embedded

We have been fans of Lawrence Zazzo’s singing for some time.  Check out this video of Coronato il crin d’alloro from Handel’s Agrippina (Ottone), and check back regularly for this feature.  We’ll weed out the crap and bring you the best countertenors on YouTube.