In the American school, but with a British accent, countertenor Christopher Lowrey balances the best elements of these diverse traditions, merging directness of expression and beauty of tone with precision and agility. Now regularly working alongside many of the world’s leading opera houses, orchestras, and festivals, his career takes him throughout Europe, the USA, and Australasia. Highlights this season include Christopher’s debut at the Teatro Real in Corselli Achille in Sciro (Ulisse) under the baton of Ivor Bolton, Handel Giulio Cesare (title role) at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, Ambronay Festival, and the Enescu Festival in Bucharest, where he will also perform Handel Agrippina (Ottone) with Les Talens Lyriques directed by Christophe Rousset, a return to the Göttingen International Handel Festival to sing Bertarido in Rodelinda, conducted by Laurence Cummings, his debut at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, where he will reprise the role of Guildenstern in Brett Dean’s Hamlet, with the Radio Filharmonisch Orkest conducted by Markus Stenz, a return to Sydney to sing the title role in Vivaldi Farnace with Pinchgut Opera under Erin Helyard, his debut at the Wigmore Hall in a programme of Purcell with Ensemble Marsyas directed by Peter Whelan, Falvetti Il Diluvio Universale with Cappella Mediterranea under Leonardo García Alarcón at the Ambronay Festival, Pergolesi Stabat Mater with the Orchestra of the Teatro Real in Toledo, Spain, Bach Trauerode and Perez Mattituno de Morte with the Gulbenkian Orchestra in Lisbon, and solo recitals in San Francisco with Voices of Music.
Recent operatic roles include Steffani Orlando Generoso (Ruggiero) for the Boston Early Music Festival, directed by Stephen Stubbs and Paul O’Dette, the world premiere of a 17th-century work by Legrenzi, La Divisione del Mondo (Marte) for Opéra National du Rhin in Strasbourg and Opéra National de Lorraine in Nancy, Handel Theodora (Didymus) with Potsdamer Winteroper, Handel Arminio (title role) for the Göttingen Handel Festival, Handel Rinaldo (Argante) with Kammerorchester Basel at Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris, the Halle Handel Festival, and St Martinskirche in Basel, Handel Orlando (Medoro) with La Nuova Musica at St John’s Smith Square London, Christopher’s English National Opera debut in both Handel Rodelinda (Unulfo) and Muhly Marnie (Terry, cover), Handel Tamerlano (title role) with Les Talens Lyriques for Ambronay Festival, and Dean Hamlet (Guildenstern) for the Adelaide Festival.Read more
Recent concert appearances include a tour of Pergolesi Stabat Mater with superstar French soprano Sandrine Piau and Les Talens Lyriques, conducted by Christophe Rousset, which will also be released as a recording later this year, a North American and European tour of Handel Semele (Athamus) with The English Concert directed by Harry Bicket, culminating in Christopher’s Carnegie Hall debut, Bach St John Passion with Le Banquet Céleste, directed by Damien Guillon, a Bach and Vivaldi programme in Hong Kong with British group Arcangelo, directed by Jonathan Cohen, Bach Cantatas at the Philharmonie de Paris with Ensemble Pygmalion, Handel Messiah with Clare College Choir at Union Chapel London, and Bach B Minor Mass at Winchester College, Handel Israel in Egypt at the BBC Proms with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment conducted by William Christie, Bach St Matthew Passion for the London Handel Festival, Falvetti Il Diluvio Universale (La giustizia divina) and Nabucco (Arioco) with Cappella Mediterranea, and solo recitals with Voices of Music in San Francisco and Sarasa Chamber Music Ensemble in Boston.
His growing catalogue of recordings includes Handel Arminio (title role) on the Accent label, Theodora (Didymus) with Pinchgut Opera on ABC Classics, Dean Hamlet (Guildenstern) on DVD from the Glyndebourne Festival on the Opus Arte label, i 7 Peccati Capitali, a disc of Monteverdi opera and madrigals on Ricercar records, Handel Susanna (Joacim) on Accent, Vivaldi Bajazet (Tamerlano) on ABC Classics, Handel Faramondo (Gernando) on Accent, Monteverdi Il ritorna d’Ulisse in Patria (L’Humana Fragilità) on Linn Records, Handel and Vivaldi Dixit Dominus on the Harmonia Mundi label, the Bernstein Missa Brevis on Hyperion, and a solo album of Handel Arias for the EMI Emerging Artists Series.
Christopher is also active as a conductor and performer in smaller consort ensembles and chamber choirs. He is the founder and conductor of Ensemble Altera, Cambridge Clerkes, Ensemble Aeterna, and passio. Recent concerts that he has organised and directed include ‘Hail Mary’, a programme of music based on Marian texts, ‘illumine’, a concert of sacred music on the theme of light, Tudor choral music for male voices, a fundraising concert in London based around settings of the Requiem mass, a church service of English sacred music for the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, a program of music from the Eton Choirbook, and composer-focused concerts on William Byrd, John Taverner, and Thomas Tallis, and appearances on concert series in his native Providence and Newport, Rhode Island.
Originally from the United States, Christopher holds degrees with distinction from Brown University, the University of Cambridge, where he was a choral scholar with Trinity College Choir under Stephen Layton, and the Royal College of Music International Opera School. He is a winner of the Helpmann Awards, the Sullivan Foundation Award, the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, the Michael Oliver Prize at the London Handel Singing Competition, and the Keasbey Award. He has studied with Russell Smythe, Derek Lee Ragin, Ashley Stafford, and Pierre Massé.
“Blessed with a voice of pure honey, he gives a world-class performance, unfazed by his character’s numerous arie di furie and tossing off roulades left, right and centre…Don’t miss him, he’s going places.”
“Christopher Lowrey was outstanding as Joacim, effortless in his vocal uxoriousness. His air, on hearing news of his wife’s trial, was urgent, driven onwards by the lower strings.”
Fortunately, newcomers are distinguished first and foremost by countertenor Christopher Lowrey (Arioco), justly acclaimed at the end of the concert. Purity of singing and attractive timbre combine with an eloquent dramatic investment.
Toutefois, Nabucco le voit renoncer sagement à la vocalité plus exigeante d’Ariocos, qu’il créa, et passer le flambeau à Christopher Lowrey. Déjà apprécié in loco dans trois rôles de l’ Elena de Cavalli due au même Alarcón, le jeune homme recueille à l’applaudimètre un score en rapport avec ses moyens : considérable. Timbre riche et chaud, legato charmeur, coloratura expressive, précise et souple : voilà des atouts forts. Le Diluvio , où il reprend la difficile Justice Divine, lui permet d’en projeter les décrets avec une cinglante autorité : son entrée Cedi Pietà , et un peu plus loin Tacete su , clouent l’auditeur sur sa chaise. Grande carrière en vue.
However, Nabucco sees him wisely abandon the most demanding vocal role of Arioco, that he created, and pass the torch to Christopher Lowrey. Already appreciated in loco in three roles of Elena of Cavalli under the baton of the same Alarcón, the young man collects the applause he deserves: considerable. A rich and warm tone, charming legato, expressive coloratura, precise and flexible: these strong assets. And there are others. The Diluvio , where he took over the difficult role of Divine Justice, allows him to project the decrees with a stinging authority at the entrance Cedi Pietà , and a little later at Tacete su, he nails the listener in his chair. A great career ahead.
Saluons le ténor Fernando Guimarães dans le rôle-titre, fermement tenu, et l’excellent Christopher Lowrey (Arioco), contre-ténor de riche couleur dont l’inflexion, à la précision confondante, enveloppe avantageusement l’écoute.
Welcome were the tenor Fernando Guimarães in the title role, firmly sung, and the excellent Christopher Lowrey (Arioco), a rich and colorful countertenor whose inflection and astounding precision enveloped the listener.
Interprétée dans la Cathédrale de Messine à l’occasion de la prise de fonction du maître de chapelle Falvetti, ce Déluge universel bénéficie d’interprètes aussi virtuoses qu’engagés, à commencer par le Chœur de Namur qui cisèle ses entrées avec maestria dans le A fuggire, a morire ou bien la scène de la Justice Divine (excellent Christopher Lowrey) convoquant les quatre éléments pour débarrasser la Terre de ses importuns humains.
Interpreted in the Cathedral of Messina on the occasion of the inauguration of Falvetti as choirmaster, this Universal Deluge calls for virtuoso performers, beginning with the Choir of Namur who carves its inputs masterfully in the A fuggire a morire or in the role of Divine Justice (the excellent Christopher Lowrey), summoning the four elements to rid the Earth of its human intruders.
En ambigu Arioco, chef des milices, forcé d’obéir au tyran, Christopher Lowerey déploie son timbre de contre-ténor aérien, assez proche de celui d’un David Daniels, manquant tout autant de graves mais capable d’une belle virtuosité et d’une prononciation plus affutée.
As the ambiguous militia leader Arioco, forced to obey the tyrant, Christopher Lowrey deploys his countertenor timbre, fairly close to that of David Daniels, perhaps not quite as heavy but capable of great virtuosity and a more sharpened pronunciation.
– Forum Opera
OPERA: AS OBERON IN BRITTEN A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, PALAU DE LES ARTS REINA SOFIA, VALENCIA, SPAIN, ROBERTO ABBADO, COND.
These were powerful portrayals of the title roles. Christopher Lowrey’s Oberon is clad in androgynous metallic green and teases out the implicit love interest in Puck, heightening the exotic obscurity inherent in the countertenor role. His still presence made the moment Oberon beats the knave doubly sinister, and there was poetry too, with Lowrey carving the “oxlips” and “eglantine” in “I know a bank” sumptuously with a voice that melted into the otherworldly background of harp and celeste.
I tre gruppi dei protagonisti hanno linguaggi drammatici spiccati: Oberon e Titania, gli ottimi Christopher Lowrey, astrale controtenore, e Nadine Sierra, regale, sono circondati dalle vere voci bianche dei bambini di una scuola dal nome lunghissimo (Escolania de la Mare de Déu dels Desemparats) preparati da Luis Garrido.
The three groups of protagonists have significantly different dramatic languages: Oberon and Titania, the excellent Christopher Lowrey, astral countertenor, and the regal Nadine Sierra, are surrounded by the true voices of the children of Escolania de la Mare de Deu dels Desemparats, prepared by Luis Garrido.
– Il Sole 24 Hore
Destacadas fueron las intervenciones de la soprano Nadine Sierra (en el papel de Titania, reina de las hadas) y el contratenor Christopher Lowrey (Oberón, rey de los elfos), que estuvo brillante en una tesitura prácticamente desterrada desde la ópera barroca.
Featured were the interventions of soprano Nadine Sierra (in the role of Titania, queen of the fairies) and countertenor Christopher Lowrey (Oberon, king of the elves), who was brilliant in a tessitura virtually banished since the time of baroque opera.
– La Vanguardia
CONCERT: AS JOACIM IN HANDEL SUSANNA, STADTHALLE, GÖTTINGEN, GERMANY, GÖTTINGEN HANDEL FESTIVAL, FESTPIELE ORCHESTER GÖTTINGEN, LAURENCE CUMMINGS, COND.
Christopher Lowrey was all vocal energy, keeping Joacim free from priggish virtue by the blazing brilliance of his coloratura, virtuosic embellishments bursting suddenly through his careful crafted phrasing like lightning through cloud.
– The Spectator
Christopher Lowrey was outstanding as Joacim, effortless in his vocal uxoriousness. His air, on hearing news of his wife’s trial, was urgent, driven onwards by the lower strings.
Joacim was sung by Christopher Lowrey with a nice clear countertenor, excellent diction and a welcome delicate approach to the text. “On the rapid whirlwind’s wing” was sung with appropriate bounciness and energy The first duet with Susanna and Joacim was sheer delight with lovely blending of the voices, as was the final duet “To my chaste Susanna’s praise”, with rapid runs perfectly executed by both.
– Opera Brittania
Das hat auch der Countertenor Christopher Lowrey geschafft. Vor zwei Jahren war er noch der Feind, jetzt der Ehemann von Emily Fons, allerdings kurzzeitig außer Haus: während seiner Abwesenheit von der Gattin wird diese sexuell belästigt – bleibt aber standhaft. An der Handlung ist Lowrey also nur aus der Ferne beteiligt. Seine emotionale Arien gingen allerdings sehr nahe. Und sie wurden immer halsbrecherischer: am Ende des zweiten Aktes zeigte er in der Arie „On the rapid whirlwind’s wing“, wie er gleich einem Wirbelwind durch die Koloraturen jagt. Das allerdings mit einer Leichtigkeit, die einem den Atem stocken lässt.
The countertenor Christopher Lowrey managed the same. Two years ago, he was the enemy, now the husband of Emily Fons, however briefly away from home: during his absence from his wife, she is sexually assaulted – but remains steadfast. Lowrey is thus involved in the action only from a distance. But his emotional arias were very present. And they were always breakneck: at the end of the second act, in “On the rapid whirlwind’s wing” he demonstrated the chasing whirlwind through the coloratura. That was done, however, with an ease that takes one’s breath away.
– Kulturbüro Göttingen
Fons sounds more like the perfect lyric soprano than another advertised mezzo, but what matter? She and Lowrey, a counter-tenor with muscle as well as musicality, spurred each other on to heights of eloquence.
– The Arts Desk
Als Joacim während einer Geschäftsreise erfährt dass seine Frau Susanna als Ehebrecherin zum Tode verurteilt ist, steigt ihm das Adrenalin zu Kopf. Zu rasenden läufen der Violinen überschlägt er sich in Koloraturen: “Wie der rasche Wind beschwingt, flieg ich hin in schnellem Lauf.” Die furiose Arie aus Handels Oratorium Susanna geriet durch die überragende Leistung von Christopher Lowrey am Donnerstag zum Auftakt der Göttinger Händel-Festpiele in der so gut der ausverkauften Stadthalle zu einem Höhepunkt. Perfekt artikuliert und dynamisch flexibel gestaltete der Countertenor den Part des verliebten Ehemanns, dessen Frau während seiner Abwesenheit von zwei Lustgreisen beim Baden beobachtet fast vergewaltigt und denn einem Schauprozess ausgeliefert wird.
Away on a business trip, Joacim learns that his wife Susanna is condemned as an adulteress to death, and the adrenaline rushes to his head. To frenzied runs of the violins he overturns in coloratura: “On the rapid whirwind’s wing, see I fly to seek the fair”. The furious aria from the oratorio Susanna was given a superior performance by Christopher Lowrey on Thursday to kick off the Göttingen Handel Festival; in the sold-out Stadthalle. Perfectly articulated and dynamically flexible, the countertenor part is that of the amorous husband whose wife is almost raped during his absence by two old men observing her while bathing and is later subjected to a show trial.
– Hofgeismarer Allegemeine
Christopher Lowrey gave an equally effective portrayal of her steadfast husband, Joacim.
– Opera con brio