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Max Emanuel Cencic Croatian singing prodigy
By Nenad N. Bach and Darko ®ubriniæ | Published  03/8/2011 | Music , Education , Culture And Arts | Unrated
Was a member of the Vienna Boys' Choir

Max Emanuel Cenèiæ, born in Zagreb, Croatia

Max Emanuel Cenèiæ singing in the city of Dubrovnik, Croatia

Max Emanuel Cenèiæ in Dubrovnik

Max Emanuel Cencic

„Cencic is gifted with the most beautiful countertenor voice of our time“
Opernwelt, May 2008

Within a few years Max Emanuel Cencic has become one of the most acclaimed countertenors of his generation who enthuses with his performances the audience and critics in equal measure.

Max Emanuel Cencic started his vocal training in early childhood, appearing publicly for the first time at the age of six. From 1987 to 1992, Max Emanuel Cencic was a member of the Vienna Boys' Choir, subsequently pursuing a solo career. By employing a special technique, he was able to continue singing soprano. Until 1997, Max Emanuel Cencic performed as a highly successful soloist at Lied concerts in Japan, the US and Europe. He also took part in numerous opera productions: 1. Knabe/Magic Flute (1991, CD-recording wiht Decca, conducting G. Solti) and at the Vienna State Opera (Harnoncourt), Gluck's Orfeo (as Amor) at the Vienna Konzerthaus (1995) and in Drottningholm (1996), in Jommelli's  Demofoonte (as Adrasto) in Schwetzingen and Cremona and in Haendel’s  Serse in Copenhagen (1996). In 2001, Max Emanuel Cencic switched his vocal fach and has been performing as a countertenor ever since.

In his latest CD-release Faramondo (EMI/Virgin Classics, March 2009), Max Emanuel Cencic shows again his outstanding quality as interpreter of Haendel’s music. Shortly after its release in France the CD has been awarded with the Diapason découverte and Diapason d’or. His solo-CD with operatic arias of Rossini (EMI/ Virgin Classics, released end of 2007) has earned overwhelming reviews and has been rewarded with the TELERAMA, PORIN and ORFEO D’OR awards.

The season 2009 is marked by three debuts on important opera houses: at the Théâtre de la Monnaie/ Brussels Max Emanuel Cencic will sing „Satirino“ and „Furie“ in Herbert Wernickes legendary staging of La Calisto (February, March 2009), the title part of Haendel’s Tamerlano at the Bavarian State Opera/ Munich (March 2009) and at the Semperoper Dresden „Tolomeo“ in Giulio Cesare (December 2009). In June 2009 Max Emanuel Cencic will sing Ottone under the baton of Rinaldo Alessandrini at the Bordeaux Opera house. Various solo- and Lied-recitals will complete the season, among others at the Theater an der Wien (January 2009), at Grand Théâtre de Genève (March 2009), Tokyo Opera Nomori (April 2009), Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Paris (Faramondo, with I Barocchisti, conducting Diego Fasolis, October 2009), Laeiszhalle Hamburg and Grand Théâtre de Avignon. In spring 2010 Max Emanuel Cencic will give his debuts at the Vienna State Opera and at the Teatro Real, Madrid.

In the season 2007/08 the artist gave his debut at Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris and sang a.o. at the Barbican Hall/ London, the Lincoln Center/ New York, the Théâtre de Caen,  Grand Théâtre Luxembourg and Opéra National de Lorraine, Nancy. His interpretation of the role of „Sposa“ in Landi’s rediscovered opera Il Sant‘Alessio under the baton of William Christie has been equally celebrated by audience and critics. The DVD of this stage production has been released in spring 2008 by EMI/ Virgin Classics. Furthermore Max Emanuel Cencic has been invited to Opéra de Lausanne, where he gave his role debut as “Sesto” in Giulio Cesare and sang the role of “Orlofsky” in The Bat. At the Théâtre du Capitole/ Toulouse he sang „Ottone“ in L’Incoronazione di Poppea. The artist gave solo-recitals at the Festival Quartetto Milano, the Salle Gaveau and Palais Garnier in Paris and La Halle aux Grains in Toulouse.

Important points in the career of Max Emanuel Cencic have been the role of “Nerone” in Monteverdi's opera L'Incoronazione di Poppea at the Basel theatre, directed by Konrad Junghänel, which earned him the award of best new singer of the year 2003 by "Opernwelt" magazine.  He appeared as Perseo in Vivaldi's long-forgotten serenata Andromeda Liberata in London (Barbican Center), Rotterdam (De Doelen), Boston (Jordan Hall), Venice (Teatro Ridotto), Amsterdam (Concertgebouw), Japan and the New York Carnegie Hall. The performance of Andromeda Liberata in Tokyo was named the best concert of the year 2005 in Japan and was recorded for the classical music label Deutsche Grammophon.

Max Emanuel Cencic is a much sought-after guest at international concerts and has appeared in Lisbon, Cologne (Deutschlandfunk Hall), Essen (Philharmonic), Vienna Musikverein, Potsdam-Sanssouci, Wiesbaden, Viterbo, Eisenstadt/Austria (Haydn Festival), Halle (Haendel Festival),  Cremona, Ludwigsburger Schloßfestspiele, Deutsche Oper am Rhein, Salle Gaveau and Opéra Garnier (Paris), Santiago di Compostela, London (Barbican Centre), Amsterdam (Concertgebouw), Milan, Avignon, Festival St. Riquier, Festival d’Uzes, Festival Saint-Denis, Festival Saint Dizier, Festival Beaune, Festival Froville and Tokyo, just to name a few.

Max Emanuel Cencic has recorded several solo CDs which were received enthusiastically by music lovers and critics alike.  The label Capriccio released "The Vivaldi Album" (2004), “Caldara-Cantatas” (2005) and a CD/DVD featuring Basso Continuo cantatas by Domenico Scarlatti (2006). His CD "Cantata d'amore" received the top recommendation "Recommandé par classique" (Capriccio, 2003).  Since 2007 Max EmanueI Cencic is recording with the top-label EMI/Virgin Classics.


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  • Comment #1 (Posted by blondbearnl)

    very great summary and informative. will see him again next year, while i am typing this i am listening for the umpteenth time to the farnace cd, what a brilliant rendition/version. saw him only once so far with william christie at the concertgebouw performing in handel's oratorio suzanna. what a beautiful voice. am anticipating his duet cd with philippe jaroussky. ordered it. the 2 best countertenors of our time on one cd again. how lucky some people are or can get:-)
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