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The remainder of the cast--including Italian contralto Romina Basso (Cornelia), Hungarian soprano Emoke Barath (Sesto), Italian countertenor Filippo Mineccia (Tolomeo) and Norwegian baritone Johannes Weisser (Achilla)--is equally strong.
Operatic countertenor Brian Asawa shares some intriguing characteristics with his peers
The French countertenor Pascal Bertin brought a commendably even depth of tone over the entire range of his sweet, seductive voice in two cantatas.
Called A Time There Was, the concert features soprano Virginia Hatfield, countertenor Scott Beluz, tenor Colin Ainsworth and baritone Geoffrey Sirett.
Vivaldi wrote 37 chamber cantatas, all for the same basic forces (soprano or countertenor plus harpsichord/cello continuo), and all setting Arcadian verse describing love that is absent, betrayed or reluctant.
Canadian countertenor David Trudgen (alternating with David Daniels) made his MOT debut as Caesar, tackling phrases so rapidly and without gasping for air that you'd swear he had a third lung.
In Hillary Summers it found a protagonist of unique qualities: tones of countertenor masculinity in the lowest range and of a Kathleen Ferrierlike warmth higher up, and a strength of breathcontrol akin to the seamless bowing of a viol.
And the soloists--soprano Karina Gauvin, countertenor Robin Blaze, tenor Rufus Muller and baritone Brett Pole-gato--are all top-notch.
The ethereal little 'Suscepit Israel', for example, was allotted to solo voices, soprano Ruth Holton and countertenor William Purefoy joined by BBC's own highly talented Jenny Crawford to comment like a trio of seraphim.
The four included: the Canadian premieres of Marc Blitzstein's 1930 satirical The Harpies and American composer Steven Serpa's 2010 pastoral opera for countertenor and soprano, Thyrisis and Amaranth; the local premiere of the hilarious 1991 Canadian comic opera, Gisela in her Bathtub, by Neil Weisensel in its Nova Scotian premiere; and Ralph Vaughan Williams's moving 1937 tragedy, Riders to the Sea.
DEAR Editor, Franco Fagioli is a singer acclaimed worldwide as possibly the greatest countertenor of our times.
Listeners can let themselves be charmed by the pleasant voice colour of tenorist Krystian Adam, among whose best contributions is the arioso Behold, and See if There Be Any Sorrow or the aria But Thou Didst Not Leave His Soul in Hell, or the pure tone of countertenor Benno Schachtner, who excels in the almost ten-minute aria He Was Despised and Rejected of Men.