Technically fluid and dramatically expressive, David Daniels uses his high-flying countertenor a male alto voice to fullest effect. Daniels, a former Ann Arbor resident and U of M graduate, has been enjoying spectacular success in the last few years, and with good reason: His singing is as rare as his vocal type. His breathing is superbly controlled; there are no distressing "gulps" for air when singing a long, highly decorative line. His phrasing is sculpted and pure, and his sense of drama keen.
Often, Handelian singers focus more on the composers acrobatic demands and give short shrift to the text. Not Daniels, who sings with heart-wrenching tenderness in "Cara sposa" from Rinaldo, only to give way to a burst of arrogant defiance in "Venti turbini," punctuated by exquisite displays of coloratura flourishes. Even though his voice is high and pure he sounds at times like the great British contralto Janet Baker it is nevertheless bold and masculine, as evidenced in the vengeance aria "A dispetto" from Tamerlano. There arent many singers who can command attention with a chestnut like "Ombra mai fu," but Daniels sings it with more wistfulness than lugubriousness, and his understated approach works.
The countertenor is more than capably assisted by Roger Norrington and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. Daniels performed an electric and eclectic concert last year in Ann Arbor, singing everything from Poulenc songs to Rossini arias. He stops by again at 4 p.m., March 7 at Ann Arbors intimate Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre (call 734-764-2538) for a concert of Handel, Ravel, Schubert and Britten. Those who love the human voice shouldnt miss it.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.