How did you first discover you had a countertenor voice?

When I was a child I sang in choirs as a boy soprano. When I was about 15 or 16, I stopped singing in my choir but I never stopped making jokes about singing high and imitating women. Where I was, in the north of Argentina, nobody was telling me, “Oh, you could be a countertenor”. Of course, I was always laughing. I thought I was just imitating sopranos or mezzo sopranos until one day I was playing the piano for a choir rehearsing the Stabat Materby Pergolesi. I wanted to know the piece well, so I went to a CD shop to buy a recording. When I arrived home I was listening to these two voices. I could recognise the highest voice was a soprano, but the second voice for me was a little bit different. It was not the sound of a woman, not also exactly the sound of a man. When I looked at the CD I realised the alto part was sung by a man – it was James Bowman. When I discovered this, I said, “OK, this man is doing more or less the...

This article is available online for Limelight subscribers. Log in to continue reading.

Not a subscriber? For a limited time our monthly digital subscription is only $3. Subscribe now and you will save 50% and have full access to our paywalled content and digital magazines.