Jochen Kowalski

Voice/Instrument: Countertenor


Jochen Kowalski (born January 30, 1954) is a famous German alto or mezzo countertenor, noted for his very rich timbre. He began his studies as a dramatic tenor, specializing in Wagner, but soon switched to countertenoring (using modal voice instead of falsetto)[citation needed] and specializing in baroque and classical music. In addition to Germany, he has performed in Austria, France, Japan, Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Jochen Kowalski, is among the most sought after international artists of his speciality. He received his training as a tenor at the Hanns Eisler Music Conservatory in Berlin, in particular with the vocal pedagogue Marianne Fischer-Kupfer.

After completing his studies in 1983 Jochen Kowalski was engaged as soloist at the "Komische Oper" (Comic Opera) in Berlin, where he is still a member of the ensemble. In 1984 he sang the title role in Georg Frideric Handel’s Giustino, staged by Harry Kupfer. The artist drew international attention through his performance of Orpheus in Gluck’s Orpheus und Euredice in a new staging of the work in December 1987, and in the travelling production by the Comic Opera in August 1989 in London. Kupfer's Orpheus wears a leather jacket and carries an electric guitar in this innovative interpretation.

In 1984 Jochen Kowalski made his debut with the State Opera of Hamburg singing the role of Daniel in G.F. Handel’s oratorio Belshazzar in Harry Kupfer’s staged realization under the musical direction of Gerd Albrecht. Since then he has been under contract at the State Opera, where he has also distinguished himself in many solo concerts. In 1987 and 1988 Kowalski appeared at the Netherlands Opera in Amsterdam and the Grand Opera in Paris. He made his debut in the State Opera in Vienna and at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London in 1991, both times as Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus. He made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera in 1994 in the same role. In 1995 he took part in the Salzburg Festival. He has also made a name for himself as a concert and oratorio singer in the major musical centres of Europe, the USA and Japan. He has worked with such conductors as Gary Bertini, Neville Marriner, Vittorio Negri, Zubin Mehta and Nikolaus Harnoncourt, among others.

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