Biography

“You will probably never see or hear a better countertenor” - Herald Sun

David Hansen was born in Sydney, Australia. He studied singing with Andrew Dalton at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and furthered his studies with James Bowman, David Harper and Graham Pushee.

In 2004, David made his European début for the Aix-en-Provence Festival in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas. Shortly thereafter, he made his UK début in concerts with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra under the baton of Emmanuelle Haïm, as well as performing the title-role in Handel’s Fernando with Il Complesso Barocco under Alan Curtis for the Spoleto Festival, Italy.

Forthcoming engagements for the 19/20 season include the modern day world premiere of Broschi’s Merope under Alessandro De Marchi for both the Innsbruck Festival of Early Music and Theater an der Wien, Sesto in Mozart’s Clemenza di Tito under Stefan Gottfried for Theater an der Wien, Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel under Jurowski for Den Norske Opera, the title-role in Handel’s Serse under George Petrou for the Händel-Festspiele Karlsruhe, the title-role in Handel’s Solomon with Concentus Musicus Wien at the Wiener Musikverein and the title-role in Handel’s Ariodante under Andrea Marcon for Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia, Valencia.

Recent highlights include Ruggiero in Handel’s Alcina under Marcon for the Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow, under Gottfried for Theater an der Wien and under Andreas Spering for the Händel-Festspiele Karlsruhe, Nerone in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea under Ottavio Dantone for Opernhaus Zürich, Hasse’s Artaserse under Erin Helyard for Pinchgut Opera, Sydney and Telemaco in Monteverdi’s Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria under De Marchi for both Den Norske Opera and the Innsbruck Festival of Early Music.

Concert highlights include the role of David in Handel’s Saul with Concentus Musicus Wien under Nikolaus Harnoncourt at the Wiener Musikverein, Carmina Burana with the Berliner Philharmoniker under Sir Simon Rattle, the title-role in Handel’s Solomon with René Jacobs and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Bach’s Johannes-Passion with Les Musiciens du Louvre Grenoble under Marc Minkowski, Caldara’s La concordia de’ pianeti and Handel’s Parnasso in Festa under Marcon at the Royal Concertgebouw, Amsterdam and Handel’s Messiah under Fabio Biondi.

Operatic engagements include the American premiere of Thomas Adès’ The Tempest (Alan Gilbert/Santa Fe Opera), the title-role in Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice (Rinaldo Alessandrini/Den Norske Opera), Bertarido in Handel’s Rodelinda (Curtis/Bilbao), Handel’s Giulio Cesare (De Marchi/Semperoper Dresden; Jacobs/Theater an der Wien; Alessandrini/Den Norske Opera; Spering/Teatro de la Maestranza de Sevilla), Nerone in Monteverdi’s L’incorinazione di Poppea (Boston Early Music Festival; Teatro Calderón; Victorian Opera), Prince Go Go in Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre (Opernhaus Zürich; Den Norske Opera), Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo (Jacobs/Deutsche Staatsoper-Berlin), Mozart’s Mitridate, Re di Ponto (Christophe Rousset/Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie), Handel’s Semele (Rousset/Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie), Porpora’s Il Germanico (De Marchi/Innsbruck Festival of Early Music), Jüri Reinvere’s Peer Gynt for Den Norske Opera, the title-role in Hasse’s Piramo e Tisbe (Musikfestspiele Potsdam Sanssouci), the title-role in Bontempi’s Il Paride (Christina Pluhar/Innsbruck Festival of Early Music), Cherubino in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro (Teatro Verdi di Sassari) and Handel’s Serse under Jean-Christophe Spinosi (Stockholm; Moscow). He has worked with directors including Stefan Herheim, Jonathan Kent, Barrie Kosky, Calixto Bieito and Christof Loy.

David’s debut solo recording for Sony/dhm, Rivals – Arias for Farinelli & Co., with Academia Montis Regalis and Alessandro De Marchi was released in 2013 to critical acclaim. His other recordings include Purcell: Music For Queen Mary, with the Academy of Ancient Music and the choir of King’s College Cambridge, available on EMI Classics, Cavalli’s Giasone and Vivaldi’s Griselda, both recorded for Pinchgut Opera Live, Bach’s Johannes-Passion with Les Musiciens du Louvre Grenoble under Minkowski for Warner/Erato and Handel’s Parnasso in Festa under Marcon for Pentatone. Future recordings include a Purcell recital, One Charming Night, Hasse’s Artaserse for Pinchgut Opera Live and an exciting follow-up recording to Rivals.

“…a pure-voiced young Australian who is typical of a new breed of matinée-idol countertenors” - Alex Ross, The New Yorker