Iestyn Davies Debuts at Lyric Feb 29; Sings Solo in Three Chicago Venues in March

“A winning actor ... a beautiful musician”- Classical Review

On the heels of his critically acclaimed debuts last fall at the Met (in Rodelinda) and at Carnegie Hall, British countertenor Iestyn Davies – named 2010’s Royal Philharmonic Young Artist of the Year – makes his Lyric Opera debut in Chicago on February 29 in a new production of Handel’s Rinaldo. The Baroque master’s depiction of the First Crusade will be conducted by Harry Bicket and directed by Francisco Negrin. Davies, a rising star on the international music scene, and “One of the most glorious countertenor voices in the world today” (Independent, UK), sings the role of Eustazio.

While in Chicago, Davies headlines three concerts, singing Handel with the Baroque Band under the direction of Harry Bicket. The concerts, on March 9, 10, and 14, are each at different venues. The Handel arias include “O Lord Whose Mercies,” “Their Land Brought Forth Frogs,” “Up the Dreadful Steep Ascending,” and “Sento amor” from Partenope.

Davies’ resplendent fall 2011 season saw the release of his most recent recording, Porpora Cantatas – a solo album on the Hyperion label that was already a sensation in Europe when it was released in the States, and which led the UK’s Observer to praise his “awesome technique and flawless tone.” In Davies’ Met debut in Rodelinda, he brought a “potent and beautifully balanced voice to Unulfo” (New Yorker), and Classical Review applauded him for “negotiating the never-ending runs in Sono I colpi della sorte and the tricky intervals in Fra tempeste funeste with both precision and a delectable lilt.” At Carnegie Hall on December 15, he performed a program of works by Britten, Purcell, and Bach, as well as the world premiere of folksong arrangements by composer Nico Muhly, securing Davies’ soaring reputation as “Today’s most exciting British countertenor” (Observer, UK).


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