Sarah Ray
Posted: February 25, 2002
Praise for
David Daniels

“King of the
—-USA Today

“The sensual
countertenor … there’s a tremendous physicality to
Daniels’ thrillingly fast vibrato, an elusive sense of
the anima,
the female,the androgyne.”

VT - David Daniels possesses a voice that is nothing
short of remarkable. Somewhere between tenor and
mezzo-soprano lies the sound of a countertenor—a unique
musical role on which Daniels’ work is shining a
spotlight and, in the process, dazzling opera, recital and
concert audiences around the world. Accompanied by pianist
Martin Katz, Daniels will perform in a Vermont recital at
Middlebury College at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 17, in the
Concert Hall of the Center for the Arts (CFA) on South Main
Street (Route 30). An informal reception sponsored by GLEAM
(Gay & Lesbian Employees at Middlebury) will take place
in the CFA lobby immediately after the concert.

United States tour follows a highly successful fall season
in Europe where he performed with the Netherlands Opera, and
across Eastern Europe with Europa Galante, an award-winning
chamber orchestra. Last fall, he won the Gramophone
Editor’s Choice Award for Album of the Year and a
Diapason D’Or—both for his performance in the
title role on Decca’s release of Handel’s

recital performances feature music by Handel and Poulenc as
well as new selections, including the world premier of a
song cycle he commissioned from composer Theodore Morrison
who first met him as a student at the University of Michigan
School of Music where Daniels sang as a tenor. It was there
in 1992 that Daniels emerged as a countertenor, a place
where he said he always knew his voice belonged. “I knew a
great and profound artist had arrived and would soon appear
on the world stage,” Morrison said.

sound has been described as uncommonly

in a very masculine package. The New Yorker said it has a
“striking allure” that inspires “complicated reactions” in
an audience. “More than one opera fan has remarked on the
somewhat disquieting prospect that the much sought-after
‘next Pavarotti’ may turn out to be a young man
with tremendous onstage bravado who stirs inarticulate
passions by singing very much like a woman.”

New York
Magazine put it this way: “one hears a voice of remarkable
purity and tonal beauty along with a command of style and
color that any singer would kill for.”

bristles at the term falsetto that is used to describe his
technique. He said it’s technically correct but that
there’s nothing false about his sound. He calls it a
gift. “It’s my voice. It’s me. It’s the way I
was meant to produce a singing voice.”

Indeed, in
less than a decade, the South Carolina native and son of two
voice teachers earned a 1999 Grammy nomination for his first
disc of Handel arias on Virgin/EMI and two awards: Musical
America’s 1999 Vocalist of the Year and the 1997
Richard Tucker Award, which is awarded annually by the New
York City-based Richard Tucker Music Foundation to an
American singer poised at the start of a major national and
international career.

operatic credits include his 1999 debut with the
Metropolitan Opera as Sesto in “Giulio Cesare.” Other roles
have taken him to Zurich, London, Cologne, San Francisco and
Chicago. He has given recitals in Paris, London, Munich,
Barcelona, Edinburgh, St. Louis and Boston.

recordings include arias by Mozart, Gluck and Handel as well
as cantatas by Scarlatti and a live recording from the
Bavarian State Opera.

Daniels, Katz has received awards and praise. “Martin Katz
must surely be considered the dean of collaborative
pianists,” declared the Los Angeles Times during the
2000-2001 season. In 1999, the publication Musical America
created a new award for him: Accompanist of the

Vermont performance is sponsored by the Middlebury College
Performing Arts Series. Tickets are $10 for general
admission and $8 for seniors. For tickets and information,
contact the College box office at 802-443-6433. The
post-concert reception is free and open to the public.