Biography

Xavier Sabata is rapidly establishing a reputation as one of the leading countertenors of his generation. Born in Avià, Catalonia, he trained as an actor at Barcelona’s Institut del Teatre, perfecting his vocal technique at the Escola Superior de Musica Catalunya and at the Musikhochschule, Karlsruhe, where his teachers were Hartmut Höll and Mitsuko Shirai.

After early successes working with William Christie and Les Arts Florissants, he now also appears with such ensembles as Europa Galante, Collegium 1704, the Venice Baroque Orchestra, I Barocchisti, Al Ayre Español, El Concierto Español and Orquesta Barroca Sevilla, and collaborates with conductors such as Fabio Biondi, René Jacobs, Jordi Savall, Alan Curtis, Gabriel Garrido, Fabio Bonizzoni, Diego Fasolis, Andrea Marcon, Xavier Dìaz Latorre, Ivor Bolton, George Petrou, Riccardo Minasi, Harry Bicket and Christopher Moulds. His “rising star” status has been confirmed by the award of such prestigious prizes as the Premio Ópera Actual in 2013, and the Premi Tendències d’el Mundo (2014).

He is a frequent guest at venues such as the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris, the Beaux-Arts in Brussels, Madrid’s Teatro Real, the Liceu and Palau de la Música in Barcelona, La Fenice in Venice, the Krakow Opera ,the Opéra de Lausanne, the Grand Théâtre, Geneva, the Theater an der Wien in Vienna, the Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow, and at the leading halls in London and New York. His festival appearances have included the Innsbruck Festival für Alte Musik, Aix-en-Provence, Ambronay, the Halle Handel Festival, and the Festival Via Stellae in Santiago de Compostela. His repertoire ranges from Cavalli and Monteverdi, through the heroes of baroque opera seria, to premieres of innovative new works such as Fabrice Bollon’s Oscar und die Dame in Rosa  at Theater Freiburg.

His solo programme Bad Guys created a furore last season in Caen, Freiburg, Seville and Barcelona, and has now been recorded, receiving unqualified praise in the press: “This ranks among the most intelligent and striking recital discs of recent years” (The Guardian, London). His newly-released album Dilettanti has also received rave reviews: “ ...rich and glorious tone, seemingly-limitless breath control and a formidable dramatic sense” (Early Music News). In the role of Tassile he was part of the Europe-wide success of Parnassus Productions’ tour and recording of Handel’s Alessandro, which has garnered no less than eleven international awards, while his performance of the title-role of Handel’s Tamerlano for Naive Records was a major factor in its continuing acclaim (“Album of the Week” in the Sunday Times (13 April 2014), “Editor’s Choice” in the August 2014 edition of Gramophone magazine, and a “Melómano de oro” award). In the fabulous  Gala Night of Countertenors team, alongside Max Emanuel Cencic, Yuriy Mynenko and Franco Fagioli, a programme soon to be released by DECCA, he was a sensation in Potsdam, Versailles, Karlsruhe and Hamburg.

Tamerlano and the Gala Night of Countertenors will continue touring during the 2014/15 season, which will also take Xaver Sabata to the Frankfurt Opera as Alidoro in Cesti’s Orontea, and again to the Halle Handel Festival (as Tassile in Alessandro). Other major engagements include the title-roles in Vivaldi’s Farnace (at the Budapest Opera, a house debut), and Handel’s Orlando (Theater Freiburg).