A Day in the Life of… Bryan DeSilva, Emerging Artist

February 1, 2011
2

This month, Dr. Peter Hennen’s article, Nature’s way: Vocal Production in Social Context, challenges our basic assumptions about our own personal narrative – the story we tell ourself to explain our triumphs and failures and link our present reality to a better future. How do we come up with a definition for success, how do we measure our progress, and are there ever clear steps to take? How do we know we are on the right path?

Our ‘A Day in the Life…’ series digs deeper into the life stories of countertenors. It is my sincere hope that we might demystify the process of building and sustaining a performing career, and create an encouraging environment for the next generation of singers. If you are a performer at any career level and would like to contribute to this ongoing project, please be in touch. This month, meet Bryan DeSilva…
~The Editor

I had considered beginning this glimpse into my musical journey with something to the effect of: “I’m just a scared little countertenor trying hard to make it in the big, bad world of Classical Music…”

Read more…


Announcing a New Competition for Countertenors

February 1, 2011
3

In the latest sign that the Countertenor voice type has achieved widespread acceptance, I am happy to pass along that a Swiss organization has created a competition specifically for countertenors! Someone ponied up a significant number of euros to fund the first ever Gianni Bergamo Classic Music Award 2011: Countertenor Competition.

Read more…


An Update from Counterpoints Publishing

February 1, 2011
0

We know that many of you have been inquiring about the release of our scores. We have some great news: We were recently offered an exciting opportunity to partner with one of the biggest music publishing and distribution companies in the business to bring you the best possible presentation of our scores. This has delayed our initial release, but we are confident that you will love what this partnership offers.

Our first collection from the Piano-Vocal Performer’s Series will be released in the upcoming month featuring arias from Handel’s Giulio Cesare in Egitto. The Piano-Vocal Performer’s Series was crafted with an eye towards clean, crisp, and informative editions of countertenor repertoire for use in recital, lessons, or auditions. We have more exciting plans for the upcoming months, but no spoilers. We will be sure to keep you updated.


Login/Register

Watch this Now! Gérard Lesne sings Bononcini

February 1, 2011
0

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ke8ZLmGtGRA

Lest you think that Jaroussky defines the sound of the French countertenor, give a listen to Gérard Lesne sing Se scherzo e ride from the cantata Siedi, Amarilli mia by Giovanni Battista Bononcini (1670-1747). Notice how Lesne never closes down his vocal production throughout his ‘ha ha ha’ style coloratura. The vowel, the tone, the energy… nothing is disturbed, just momentarily interrupted.


The Editor’s Desk: Welcome

January 1, 2011
0

Hello and thank you for joining us as we officially launch The Countertenor Voice: An Online Journal. Together with our parent company, Counterpoints Publishing LLC, we at the journal are excited to bring you our first installment of articles and reviews. In this month’s online journal, Oliver reviews Jaroussky, I broach the subject of whether the countertenor sound is as tied to the Anglican and early music movements as it used to be (and we invite you to take a quick survey on the subject), we listen to a fierce Polish contralto, and we introduce our initial offering of scores for purchase and download.

Read more…


Feature: Are We Post-Anglican Yet? Part 1

January 1, 2011
4

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…


Philippe Jaroussky Opium: A Review

January 1, 2011
1
Philippe Jaroussky "Opium"

Reviewer Oliver Camacho was both skeptical and enthusiastic about this late 2009 release of French mélodies. It is comprised of French mélodies that collectively feel like a meal made of flakey pastries; however, they individually delight in the same way. Could a countertenor d’agilità pull off a 66 minute recital of belle-époque parlor songs that have previously been the domain of the great Gérard Souzay, Pierre Bernac, and Maggie Teyte?

In a word, Ouais…

Young countertenors take note that you need not be confined to Handel and Caldara if you can do it all as well as the featherweight champion.

Read more…


Are you a Countertenor? Take our Survey

January 1, 2011
0

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…


Feature: Counterpoints Publishing Announces Initial Repertory to be Offered

January 1, 2011
1

Our team of elves has been hard at work crafting high quality, original piano/voice editions of countertenor appropriate arias. These scores are crisp and clean and incorporate a number of innovations (including an ossia stave for working out your ornaments). We are excited to announce these arias by Handel, Bach, and Mozart. They will be offered in our initial release (which we expect to be online and available for purchase by January the 15th).

Read more…


Watch this Now! Ewa Podleś sings Vivaldi

January 1, 2011
0

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
1

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
0

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
0

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
0

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
0

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. [...]