Simon John Keenlyside was born in London on 3rd August 1959, son of Raymond and Ann Keenlyside. Both his father and his grandfather were professional violinists; Raymond played second violin in the Aeolian Quartet. “Where other children would have nursery rhymes, I’d go to bed to the sounds of Haydn, Mozart and Schubert.” "If you sang as a boy you got picked on. It was lucky for me that I was sporty and athletic."
Erwin Schrott (born 21 December 1972 in Montevideo, Uruguay) is an operatic bass-baritone, particularly known for his interpretation of the title role in Mozart's Don Giovanni. Schrott made his professional debut in Montevideo at the age of 22, singing Roucher in Andrea Chénier. Following a stint at the Teatro Municipal in Santiago, Chile, where he sang Timur in Turandot, Colline in La bohème, Sparafucile in Rigoletto and Ramfis in Aida, he won a scholarship to study in Italy.
Dame Kiri Janette Te Kanawa, ONZ, AC, DBE, (IPA: /ˈkiːri ˈteɪ ˈkɑːnəwə/, born March 6, 1944) is one of the world's most celebrated sopranos. In 1981, she was seen and heard around the world by an estimated 600 million people when she sang Händel's "Let the Bright Seraphim" at the wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer. Te Kanawa was born in Gisborne, on New Zealand's North Island.
One of the most versatile and gifted musicians of her generation, Cambridge educated, Juliette has a hugely varied and successful career as singer, composer, and Brit-nominated record producer - from singing the Angel in Dream of Gerontius with the CBSO to writing the music for The Kumars at No.42. She released her critically acclaimed debut album Venezia in 2006 (Classic FM Record of the Week), and the follow up - The Domestic Diva - is due for release in 2009.
Malena Ernman (born November 4, 1970) is a Swedish opera singer (mezzo-soprano). She represents Sweden at the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest with the song "La Voix". Educated at the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm, the Music Conservatory in Orléans, France and at the school of the Royal Swedish Opera. Ernman is a versatile artist in her field, who outside the world of opera and operettas also has performed chansons, cabaret, jazz, appeared in musicals and she is a performer who's declared that she's very much attracted to the attributes of varité theatre and small, intimate stage rooms.
Claudio Monteverdi ("Green Mountain") (Cremona May 15, 1567 – November 29, 1643) was an Italian composer, violinist and singer. His work marks the transition from Renaissance to Baroque music. During his long life he produced work that can be classified in both categories, and he was one of the most significant revolutionaries that brought about the change in style. Monteverdi wrote the earliest dramatically viable opera, Orfeo, and was fortunate enough to enjoy fame during his lifetime.
Commissioned by Danish performance group Hotel Pro Forma to write the music for their opera based on Charles Darwin and his book
Official sites: www.cortes.is
www.myspace.com/officialcortes In 1999, Cortes won the lead role of Raoul, Vicomte de Chagny, in The Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty's Theatre in London's West End. It was in this role that he discovered his ability to sing high notes. "I'd been having a bad evening and I was miserable, felt I wasn't even good enough to be in the chorus. Then in my next scene I went up to the C sharp and it just stayed there.
Dawn Upshaw (born July 17, 1960 in Nashville, Tennessee) is a world-renowned American soprano described as "one of the most consequential performers of our time" by the Los Angeles Times. The recipient of several Grammy Award and Edison Prize-winning discs, Upshaw is at home both in opera and art song, and in repertoire from Baroque to contemporary. Many composers, including John Harbison and Kaija Saariaho, have written for her, and her artistic achievements are extensive. On September 25, 2007 she was awarded a MacArthur Foundation "genius grant."