Bejun Mehta

Countertenor & Conductor

„For those who only know me as a singer, [conducting] might feel like something new. For me personally, however, it is actually a return to something I love very much. It might sound like versatility but I feel it all comes from the same source within me: the experiences as singer, actor, and musician all come together. As an artist it is important always to keep developing–everything we do concerns the development of authenticity, both for ourselves and humankind."
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Bejun Mehta – Many Loves, One Voice

Biography

“Perhaps the most sophisticated and musically satisfying of today ́s countertenors“ (Opera News, 2018), Bejun Mehta fascinates with incredible vocal expression, great musicality and gripping power of performance. He is a regular guest at the world’s major opera houses, including the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, La Scala Milan, Theater an der Wien, Berlin State Opera, Bavarian State Opera in Munich, Théâtre Royal de La Monnaie, De Nederlandse Opera, Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, Teatro Real Madrid, Zurich Opera, Opéra Nationale de Paris, the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera in Chicago, Los Angeles Opera, as well as the Salzburg, Glyndebourne, and Aix-en-Provence Festivals and the Wiener Festwochen.
Concerts with major orchestras and solo recitals have brought Bejun Mehta to the leading concert venues, where he tours his award-winning CD programs and performs repertoire ranging from Baroque to contemporary music. He is a frequent guest at the Amsterdam ́s Concertgebouw, London’s Wigmore Hall, the Konzerthaus Wien and the Wiener Musikverein, Carnegie and Zankel Hall in New York, Brussel ́s Palais des Beaux-Arts, Palau des Arts in Valencia, Madrid’s Teatro de la Zarzuela, Cité de la Musique in Paris, Munich ́s Prinzregententheater, Berlin ́s Konzerthaus, the Rudolfinum in Prague, and the festivals of Edinburgh, San Sebastian, Verbier, Schleswig-Holstein, and the BBC Proms in London.
„In Mozart's light-footed, airy Divertimento in F major, and especially in the brilliant A major symphony, it was obvious: Conductor Bejun Mehta lead so passionately, so accomplished, so pronounced, that it seemed as if invisible threads were running from his finger tips to the musicians. ”SZ, 12.9.2016 J.-U. Sommerschuh
In recent years, Bejun Mehta has successfully made a name for himself as a conductor, working with orchestras including the hr symphony orchestra, the Philharmonie Dresden, the Bochum symphony orchestra as well as the Kammerakademie Potsdam and the Württembergisches Kammerorchester Heilbronn. In addition to his focus on working on the repertoire of the baroque and early classical periods with modern orchestras, his particular emphasis is on the combination between orchestra and voice – either with guest soloists or in especially developed programs featuring him as singer and conductor.

Highlights of the last season included a revival of Claus Guth's Rodelinda (a production originally made for Bejun at the Teatro Real Madrid) at the Dutch National Opera, Mozart Arias with the Vienna Philharmonic in the Musikverein, George Benjamin's Dream of the Song–a solo cantata composed specifically for him–with the Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, and concert performances of Benjamin's Written on Skin–the role of Angel 1/Boy also composed specifically for him–with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra.

As singer and conductor, Bejun toured Germany and Austria with the Württembergisches Kammerorchester and his Mozart–The Dramatist program to venues including Vienna ́s Musikverein and the Herkulessaal Munich. Other sing/conduct programs followed with the Hessischer Rundfunk, the Bochumer Symphoniker, and the Kammerakademie Potsdam. In the fall of 2019 Bejun sang the title role in a new Robert Carsen production of Giulio Cesare at La Scala Milan – the first countertenor ever to sing that role at La Scala. He also was the first countertenor to be invited by La Scala for a solo recital on the main stage – in April 2020.
„Facets of the baroque art of singing: in a lamento by "Tolomeo" flexible in timbre from the comforting enraptured to the surreal, and with a suspense-packed piano as well as in the curious musical competition of "Giulio Cesare" with the bird song imitated by the solo violin (Ulrich Edelmann). How far and how seamless the American baroque expert's voice reaches down to the bottom as well, showed itself (...) impressively. ”FAZ Rhein-Main-Zeitung, 1.6.2019, G. Holze
Bejun Mehta’s future plans include a return to the Staatsoper Unter den Linden in the title role in Gluck’s „Orfeo“ since the 2016 premiere, a tour with the Kammerorchester Basel and Diego Fasolis to cities including Basel, Göttingen and Paris, concerts and a recording of Händel’s Tamerlano with The English Consort and Harry Bicket in Paris, London and Vienna, as well as in New York’s Carnegie Hall and on the West Coast of the United States. With his new recital program “Many loves, one voice...” with pianist Jonathan Ware, he sings works by Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn, Britten and Mahler at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie, the Théatre de La Monnaie in Brussels, the Philharmonie de Luxembourg, and in Madrid and Cologne. As conductor he follows a re-invitation from the hr symphony orchestra with a program including works by Mozart and Bach.

The twice Grammy-nominated singer (one win, as recording producer for Janos Starker's 1997 Bach Cello Suites on RCA) has a discography which now numbers 25 titles. His recordings–solo and opera alike–have been distinguished with many prizes, including the Echo Klassik (Opera Recital of the Year), the Diapason d'Or (twice), Le Diamant d’Opéra Magazine, the Choc de Classica, the BBC Music Magazine Premiere Recording of the Year and the Opera Award, the Gramophone Award- Contemporary, and the Edison Klassiek. He was shortlisted for the Gramophone Award in the Recital Category and the Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik. Bejun has been nominated for the 2007 Laurence Olivier Award (Orlando, Royal Opera House Covent Garden) and is the recipient of the 2015 Traetta Prize. Bejun's latest solo CD CANTATA, yet can I hear... was awarded with the Diapason d'Or.

On television, Bejun Mehta has been profiled by CBS 60 Minutes II, A&E, Arte, ARD, ORF 2, and TW-1. He gives master classes on a regular basis, e.g. fort he Young Singers Project oft he Salzburg Festival, the International Opera Studio at the Hamburgische Staatsoper, and at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam; he also teaches at his private studio. He holds an honor’s degree in German literature from Yale University and makes his home in Berlin and New York City.

2020/21
This biography is to be reproduced without any changes, omissions or additions, unless expressly authorized by artist management.
Contacts: Arnold Simmenauer, Katja Hippler

Images

Programme

Vocal programme with orchestra
Sing / Conduct
Recital
"Many loves, one voice"
with Jonathan Ware (piano)

Mozart
Ombra felice…Io ti lasci / Recite and Aria KV255

Beethoven
An die ferne Geliebte op. 98

Haydn
Arianna a Naxos / Cantata Hob. XXVIb/2

Britten
Canticle I: My Beloved is mine op. 40

Mahler
Rückert songs

Discography

CANTATA, yet can I hear…
Solo-Kantaten
Georg Friedrich Händel
Mi palpita il cor HWV 132c
I will magnify thee HWV 250b
Yet can I hear that dulcet lay
Siete rose rugiadose HWV 162

Johann Sebastian Bach
Ich habe genug BWV 82

Melchior Hoffmann
Trauermusik "Schlage doch, gewünschte Stunde"

Antonio Vivaldi
Pianti, sospiri e dimandar mercede RV 676

Johann Christoph Bach
Ach, daß ich Wassers g’nug hätte

Orlando
Georg Friedrich Händel
Bejun Mehta - Orlando
Sophie Karthäuser - Angelica
Kristina Hammarström - Medoro
Sunhae Im - Dorinda
Konstantin Wolff - Zoroastro

B’Rock Orchestra
René Jacobs - Leitung

Che Puro Ciel – The Rise of Classical Opera
Mozart, Gluck, Traetta...
Bejun Mehta - Countertenor
Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin
René Jacobs - Leitung

Mit dem berühmten Vorwort zu Alceste (1767) haben Christoph Willibald Gluck und sein Librettist Ranieri de Calzabigi das Fundament für eine neue Richtung der Oper gelegt. Beiden ging es vor allem darum, die Zwänge der barocken Form zu überwinden, um den tieferen Sinn des Wortes Natur wiederzuentdecken – in Calzabigis schönen Worten: um die Befreiung der „Sprache des Herzens“. Aus dieser spannenden Zeit der Opernreform stammen auch die auf dieser CD versammelten Arien. Wir entdecken streitbare Komponisten, die auf ihrer Suche nach neuen Formen jene „edle Einfalt“ ins Spiel brachten, die zur Grundlage der musikalischen Klassik werden sollte.


Ombra cara - Arien aus Agrippina, Amadigi, Giulio Cesare, Orlando, Riccardo Primo
Georg Friedrich Händel
Bejun Mehta - Countertenor
René Jacobs - Leitung
Freiburger Barockorchester - Ensemble für alte Musik
Rosemary Joshua - Sopran

Wenn Händels Arien sich heute so groβer Beliebtheit erfreuen, ist das vielleicht durch ihre Stellung zwischen Vergangenheit und Gegenwart, zwischen Licht und Schatten zu erklären. Sie allein vermögen schon alle vokalen Ausdrucksmöglichkeiten einer ganzen Epoche zu veranschaulichen. Für sein erstes Solo-Rezital bei harmonia mundi hat Bejun Mehta natürlich so manche Arien aus dem Repertoire des berühmten Kastraten Senesino geschöpft, aus denen echte „Hits“ geworden sind. Vom Schatten (Ombra cara) zum Licht (Sento la gioia) …wer könnte ihn wohl besser als René Jacobs auf diesem Weg begleiten.

Down by the Salley Gardens
19th & 20th Cent. English Songs (Vaughan Williams, Finzi, Howells, Quilter...)
Bejun Mehta - Countertenor
Julius Drake - Klavier

Dieses außergewöhnliche Programm entführt uns in die Welt der englischen Liedkunst – von der edwardianischen Ästhetik eines Quilter oder frühen Vaughan Williams bis zum hochexpressiven Stil von Howells oder Finzi. Und die Purcell-Bearbeitungen von Britten und Tippett präsentieren sich als die fruchtbare Auseinandersetzung zweier großer Komponisten des 20. Jahrhunderts mit ihrem musikalischen Erbe. Nach seiner begeistert aufgenommenen Händel-CD beweist uns Bejun Mehta auch mit diesem so unterschiedlichen Repertoire erneut seine sprachliche und sängerische Meisterschaft.

Baroque, Classical and Modern Arias & Scenes for countertenor

Bejun Mehta - Countertenor
RIAS Kammerchor Berlin
Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin
René Jacobs - Leitung

Aller guten Dinge sind drei

Zum ersten Mal in 3-CD-Boxen: Entdecken Sie die auf lange Jahre angelegten Aufnahmeprojekte von Ensembles und Künstlern wie Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Fretwork, Paul Hillier, Jerusalem Quartet, Bejun Mehta, Andreas Staier und Stile Antico.

Werke u. a. von Christoph Willibald Gluck, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Tommaso Traetta, Johann Adolph Hasse, Johann Christian Bach, Herbert Howells, Roger Quilter, Ivor Gurney, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Henry Purcell, Benjamin Britten, Michael Tippett, Gerald Finzi, Lennox Berkeley, Sir Charles Villiers Stanford, Peter Warlock, Victor Hely-Hutchinson, Georg Friedrich Händel

Hosokawa: Stilles Meer
Toshio Hosokawa
Susanne Elmark - Claudia
Mihoko Fujimura - Haruko
Bejun Mehta - Stephan
Viktor Rud - Hiroto
Marek Gaszteck - A Fisherman

Eberhard Friedrich - chorus master
Oriza Hirata - stage director

Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Hamburg
Vokalsolisten Hamburg Chor
Kent Nagano - Leitung

GLUCK: Orfeo ed Euridice
Christoph Willibald Gluck
Bejun Mehta - Orfeo
Eva Liebau - Euridice
Regula Mühlemann - Amore

Collegium 1704
Collegium Vocale 1704
Václav Luks - Leitung

Ondrej Halvelka - Regie

Written on Skin & Duet for piano and orchestra
George Benjamin
Christopher Purves - The Protector
Barbara Hannigan - Agnès
Bejun Mehta - First Angel/Boy
Victoria Simmonds - Second Angel/Marie
Allan Clayton - Third Angel/John
Pierre-Laurent Aimard - Klavier

Mahler Chamber Orchestra
George Benjamin - Leitung


Written on Skin
George Benjamin
Christopher Purves - The Protector
Barbara Hannigan - Agnès
Bejun Mehta - First Angel/Boy
Victoria Simmonds - Second Angel/Marie
Allan Clayton - Third Angel/John
Pierre-Laurent Aimard - Klavier

Royal Opera Chorus & Orchestra of the Royal Opera House
George Benjamin - Leitung
Katie Mitchell - Regie

Award-winning director Katie Mitchell brings a dark and passionate tale from composer George Benjamin and author Martin Crimp to the stage. This filmed version of Written On Skin was recorded during the opera’s world premiere at the Aix-en-Provence Festival in 2012. Conducted by George Benjamin and performed by Barbara Hannigan, Christopher Purves and Bejun Mehta, Written On Skin was greatly praised by the critics, who called it “the best opera written over the last 20 years” (Renaud Machard, Le Monde).

Händel: Theodora
Georg Friedrich Händel
Christine Schäfer - Theodora
Bejun Mehta - Didymus
Johannes Martin Kränzle - Valens
Bernarda Fink - Irene
Joseph Kaiser - Septimius
Ryland Davies - Messenger

Freiburger Barockorchester

Ivor Bolton - Dirigent
Christof Loy - Regie

Horizon 7
Benjamin, Lindberg, Rijnvos, Dun
George Benjamin: Dream of the Song
Bejun Mehta
George Benjamin
Nederlands Kamerkoor

Magnus Lindberg: Era
David Robertson

Richard Rijnvos: Fuoco e Fumo
Daniel Harding

Tan Dun: Double Bass Concerto "The Wolf"
Dominic Seldis (double bass)

El Maestro Farinelli
Werke von Porpora, Hasse, Nebra, Traetta u. a.
Bejun Mehta - Countertenor
Concerto Köln
Pablo Heras-Casado - Leitung

Mozart: Mitridate, Re di Ponto
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Croft - Or - Persson - Mehta -
Bohlin - Lee - Bertin

Les Musiciens du Louvre - Grenoble
Marc Minkowski - Leitung

Günter Krämer - Regie

Salzburger Festpiele

Händel: Messiah
Georg Friedrich Händel
Susan Gritton - Sopran
Cornelia Horak - Sopran
Bejun Mehta -Countertenor
Richard Croft - Tenor
Florian Boesch - Bass

Arnold Schönberg Chor
Ensemble Matheus
Jean-Christophe Spinosi - Leitung

Claus Guth - Regie

Theater an der Wien

To mark the 250th anniversary of Handel's death, Vienna's Theater an der Wien realized a truly extraordinary project: the staging of Messiah, the composer's most popular oratorio. Collaborating with an exquisite cast of singers, Claus Guth, one of today's highly renowned stage directors, delivered 'an emotionally and psychologically charged sequence of images. . . The audience was thrilled' (Suddeutsche Zeitung).

Händel: Rodelinda
Georg Friedrich Händel
Danielle de Niese - Rodelinda
Bejun Mehta - Bertarido
Kurt Streit - Grimoaldo
Konstantin Wolff - Garibaldo
Malena Ernman - Eduige
Matthias Rexroth - Unulfo

Concentus Musicus Wien
Nikolaus Harnoncourt - Leitung


Händel: Belshazzar
Georg Friedrich Händel
Kenneth Tarver - Belshazzar
Rosemary Joshua - Nitocris
Bejun Mehta - Cyrus
Kristina Hammarström - Daniel
Neal Davies - Gobrias

RIAS Kammerchor Berlin
Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin
René Jacobs - Leitung

Diese Aufnahme vom Festival in Aix-en-Provence aus dem Jahr 2008 zeigt eines der spannendsten musikdramatischen Werke Händels. Der Vorhang öffnet sich über einer Prophezeiung: Der Fall Babylons ist nah, die moralische und politische Verkommenheit, für die König Belshazzar steht, muss schon bald der Macht des Perserprinzen Cyrus weichen. Von da an erleben wir die unterschiedlichen Phasen vom Zerfall eines Reichs – ein zeitloses Thema, dessen aktueller Widerhall für denjenigen offensichtlich ist, der zu hören und zu sehen versteht.

Händel: Agrippina
Georg Friedrich Händel
Alex Penda - Agrippina
Jennifer Rivera - Nerone
Sunhae Im - Poppea
Bejun Mehta - Ottone
Marcos Fink - Claudio
Neal Davies - Pallante
Dominique Visse - Narciso
Daniel Schmutzhard - Lesbo

Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin
René Jacobs - Leitung

Nach seinen gefeierten Erkundungen von Händelopern wie Giulio Cesare oder Rinaldo wendet sich René Jacobs dem ersten großen Opernerfolg des „caro Sassone“ zu, der 1710 in Venedig den künstlerischen Höhepunkt seiner italienischen Zeit markiert. Diese Version rekonstruiert das Werk in seiner ursprünglichen Gestalt – die einzige, die politische Aktualität und überzeugende Dramaturgie vereint. Dieses Liebesabenteuer vor dem Hintergrund der römischen Historie – die Vorgeschichte zu Monteverdis L'incoronazione di Poppea – erweist sich heute als faszinierender denn je.

Britten: A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Benjamin Britten
Bejun Mehta
Kate Royal
Íríde Martínez
Matthew Rose

The Glyndebourne Chorus
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Ilan Volkov - Leitung

Live recording in Glyndebourne, Juli und August 2006.

“It is no exaggeration to say it is one of the most highly acclaimed productions A Midsummer Night’s Dream has ever enjoyed.” John Evans, Director of the Britten Estate, 2006.

Händel: Giulio Cesare
Georg Friedrich Händel
Bejun Mehta - Knabensopran
Magdalena Kozená - Mezzosopran
Anne Sofie von Otter - Mezzosopran
Charlotte Hellekant - Mezzosopran
Marijana Mijanovic - Alt
Jean-Michel Ankaoua - Bariton
Alan Ewing - Bass

Les Musiciens du Louvre
Marc Minkowski - Leitung

Furie terribili: 30 Baroque Opera Hits
Arien von Monteverdi, Cavalli, Lully, Charpentier, Rameau, Purcell, Händel, Broschi, Giacomelli, Graun, Dauvergne, Keiser, Telemann und Gluck
This double album invites you on a guided tour of the world of Baroque opera, from its origins in the early 17th century to its decline at the end of the Enlightenment. From recitar cantando to the da capo aria by way of French tragédie lyrique, the leading exponents of the genre will lead you into a dizzying spiral of vocal exploits illustrating all the human passions. Absolutely irresistible!

Maria Bayo, Efrat Ben Nun, Maurice Bevan, Danielle Borst, Howard Crook, Lucy Crowe, Lynne Dawson, Jill Feldman, Bernarda Fink, Vivica Genaux, Sunhae Im, Inga Kalna, Guillemette Laurens, Claron McFadden, Bejun Mehta, Agnes Mellon, Miah Persson, Nicolas Rivenq, Jennifer Rivera, Dorothea Roschmann, Andreas Scholl, Roman Trekel, Janet Williams

Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Concerto Köln, Concerto Vocale, Freiburger Barockorchester, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

David Bates, William Christie, Alfred Deller, Philippe Herreweghe, René Jacobs

20. Festliche Operngala für die Deutsche AIDS-Stiftung
Arien aus Opern von Wagner, Mozart, Puccini, Verdi, Donizetti, Mozart, Massenet, Bellini, Offenbach
Adam Plachetka, Elena Tsallagova, Alexander Tsymbalyuk, Olga Peretyatko, Massimiliano Pisapia, Simone Kermes, Bejun Mehta, Sonya Yoncheva, Atalla Ayan, Joyce DiDonato

Orchester der Deutschen Oper Berlin
Donald Runnicles - Leitung

Mitschnitt der Operngala für die Deutsche AIDS-Stiftung aus der Deutschen Oper Berlin
Moderation: Max Raabe

Händel: Rinaldo
Georg Friedrich Händel
Cecilia Bartoli
Luba Orgonasova
David Daniels
Gerald Finley
Bejun Mehta

The Academy of Ancient Music
Christopher Hogwood - Leitung

THE SOUND OF CELLOS – The Yale Cellos Play Favorites

Rachmaninoff: Vocalise in e-Moll op. 34 Nr. 14
Arrangiert für Cello Ensemble von Bejun Mehta

The Yale Cello Ensemble
Aldo Parisot - Leitung

Bejun
Lieder und Arien von Händel, Schubert, Brahms, Britten
Solo Album des 14-jährigen Bejun Mehta

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra

Debut Recording Artist of the Year, Stereo Review


Videos

Recital Bejun Mehta & Jonathan Ware @ La Monnaie
W.A. Mozart: Symphony No. 28 C major KV200
G. Benjamin: Dream of the song
Handel. Sento la Gioia
HANDEL: Pompe vane di morte!/Dove sei, amato bene?
J.S. Bach: 4. Orchestersuite D-Dur BWV1069

Contact

Arnold Simmenauer
t: +49 (0)30 414 781 724
f: +49 (0)30 414 781 713
Katja Hippler
t: +49 (0)30 414 781 730
f: +49 (0)30 414 781 713