Nichols College News

Music Appreciation Class Hears World-class Countertenor

Ten lucky Nichols College students from Professor Christina Weiss’s Music Appreciation I class attended a baroque music concert featuring a full range of Handel and Vivaldi arias of the 18th century as played by Apollo's Fire at UConn’s Jorgensen Center on Nov. 6th. The soloist was renown French countertenor Philippe Jaroussky who has taken Europe by storm and was named “Lyric Artist of the Year” in 2007 – the French equivalent of a Grammy award.

A countertenor, a term is used exclusively in the context of the male classical vocal tradition, uses a falsetto or modal voice to achieve a vocal range, usually equivalent to a woman’s contralto or messo-soprano range. Jaroussky is one of those rare countertenors with the range of a soprano.

Apollo’s Fire and Jaroussky share a commitment to emotionally communicative performances. Vivaldi’s fiery concertos rounded out the program, including the Concerto for Four Violins and Jeannette Sorrell’s popular arrangement of La Follia (Madness), which the ensemble performs from memory. The orchestra was led by internationally acclaimed harpsichordist Sorrell. This transatlantic collaboration heads to France and Belgium following the U.S. performances.

Also accompanying the students were Dr. Louise Nordstrom and Professor Rick Hilliard