Saturday, November 7, 2009

Speakeasy with David Daniels

Posted By on Sat, Nov 7, 2009 at 4:00 PM


If you were to hear opera singer David Daniels’ voice before you saw him perform, you might make a mistaken guess as to his gender. Countertenors such as Daniels sing in a vocal range usually associated with sopranos and other classical female singing styles. Daniels’ renowned approach has redefined the countertenor style for a new generation of opera audiences. The first countertenor to give a solo recital in the main auditorium of Carnegie Hall, Daniels sings the role of Orpheus in Christoph Willibald Gluck’s Orfeo & Euridice at the Atlanta Opera, Nov. 14, 17, 20 and 22.

How young were you when you began singing as a boy soprano?

I think I remember singing when I was 3 or 4 years old. It was probably more like screaming and driving my older brother crazy. He plays the cello, so he’s the only one in my family who doesn’t sing. My mother was a soprano, my father a baritone, and they both taught voice at Converse College. My mother taught me to sing in my “head voice.” I sang professionally as a boy soprano probably from age 9 to 16. Even though my voice changed, I kept the ability to sing this way as a teenager. Now I’m 43, and I still sing this way.

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(Photo Courtesy the Atlanta Opera)

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