Biography

Xavier Sabata takes his audience on a “roller coaster ride of expression” and receives rave reviews for his fresh, unpretentious playing style. The Catalan ranks among the most versatile countertenors of his generation, feeling just as at home in contemporary music as he does in music of the baroque era. The 2017/2018 season begins for him with a concertante version of Handel's “Ottone” at the Theater an der Wien. In October, he performs the program of his solo album, “Catharsis”, in Athens and at his debut in London's Wigmore Hall performing together with George Petrou and his Armonia Athenea Orchestra. Further highlights include his debut in December of 2017 at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden (Monteverdi: “L'incoronazione di Poppea”) as well as his return to The Handel Festival in Halle and the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, in both cases on stage as the leading role in the second 1731 version of Handel's “Rinaldo”. In addition to opera, Xavier Sabbata places increased focus this season on the Lied genre: he performs Schubert's “Winterreise” in Barcelona and sings a recital at the Lied Festival “Ciclo de Lied” in Madrid. Furthermore, he will record his fourth solo album as well as Alessandro Stradella's “La Doriclea” together with “Il Pomo d'Oro”.

Xavier Sabata, who pursued studies in saxophone and drama, made a name for himself as an actor in theatre and television before turning his attention to classical voice at the age of 26. In search of artistic means of expression, the lyrical contralto found his place in opera. 2005 ultimately marked his international breakthrough with William Christie's program, “Le jardin du voix”. Out of the close collaboration with William Christie and his ensemble “Les Arts Florissants”, productions arose that were not only performed worldwide but also recorded including Monteverdi's “L'incoronazione di Poppea”, Cavalli's “La Didone” as well as “Il Sant’Allesio” by Stefano Landi, featuring nine countertenors.

Xavier Sabata's repertoire spans from Cavalli and Monterverdi over the heroes of baroque opera seria to contemporary works. As an educated actor, he has a particular soft spot for musical theatre and welcomes the challenge of merging drama and vocals into a complete artwork. He is especially prized for his gripping characterization, demonstrated, for example, in the opera composed for him, “Kaspar Hauser” by Hans Thomalla or Fabrice Bollon's “Dame in Rosa”.

Xavier Sabata performs regularly with renowned ensembles (e.g. Europa Galante, Collegium 1704, Venice Baroque Orchestra, I Barocchisti, Al Ayre Españiol, El Concierto Español, Orquesta Barroca Sevilla, Il Pomo dʼOro). Furthermore, he maintains ongoing collaborations with conductors such as Fabio Biondi, René Jacobs, Jordi Savall, Gabriel Garrido, Fabio Bonizzoni, Diego Fasolis, Andrea Marcon, Xavier Dìaz Latorre, Ivor Bolton, George Petrou, Riccardo Minasi, Harry Bicket and Christopher Moulds.

Opera productions have led the countertenor to the most distinguished opera houses worldwide: Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, the Grand Théâtre de Genève, the Theater an der Wien, the Teatro Real Madrid, the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, the Teatro La Fenice in Venice, the Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe, to the Opera Rara in Krakow, the Opéra Royal de Versailles, the Ópera de Oviedo and to the Opéra de Lausanne. Moreover, he has performed in renowned concert halls including the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the Barbican Center in London, the Lincoln Center in New York, the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., the Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow, the Auditorio Nacional in Madrid and the Palau de la Musica in Barcelona, just to mention a few. Regular festival appearances have led him to the Handel Festival in Halle, the Salzburg Festival, the Festival d’Aix-en- Provence, the Innsbruck Festival of Early Music, the Handel Festival in Karlsruhe and to the Festival de musique Baroque d'Ambronay.

His extensive discography under major labels such as Virgin Classics/EMI, Decca, Harmonia Mundi Iberica and Aparté includes recordings of Handel's Operas, “Faramando”, “Arminio”, “Ottone”, the internationally-awarded recording of “Alessandro” as well as “Tamerlano” in which Xavier Sabata sings the leading role. Following “Bad Guys” and “I dilettanti”, his newest solo album, “Catharsis”, focuses on operatic rarities from the early 18 th century.