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Hasan El-Dunia


Guest of the National Theatre Opera. Hasan El-Dunia was born in 1973. Between 1994 and 2000 he studied theology at Charles University in Prague and the Lateran University in Rome. At the same time, he studied Gothic and Renaissance polyphony and semiology of the Gregorian chant on the basis of interpretation of the oldest manuscripts. He attended a host of performance courses. Since the middle of the 1990s he has intensively studied notations of Medieval and Renaissance music in particular. Direct contact with musical sources and awareness of period cultural context, enlightened by scientific knowledge, is one of the pillars for concert performance and recording of old music. In 1994 he became a member of the Schola Gregoriana Pragensis ensemble headed by David Eben. With this ensemble, he appeared at concerts in Germany, France, Italy, Poland, Sweden, Norway, Israel, Japan, and made numerous recordings (eight CDs for Supraphon and Sony Music). From 1997 to 2000 he studied singing with Jiří Kotouč. He attends singing master-classes under the tutelage of leading performers of historical music (Marius van Altena, Peter Kooij). Professional study of singing focused on old vocal music along with his special timbre led him to performing as a countertenor. As an ensemble and solo singer, he has sung at concerts and made recordings with ensembles performing period Czech and European Baroque music (Capella Regia – conductor Robert Hugo, Inegal, Ritornello, Collegium 1704 – conductor Václav Luks, Musica Florea – conductor Marek Štryncl). In 2002 he appeared in J. D. Zelenka and A. Lotti’s Messa di Gloria conducted by Andrew Parrott. One year later he performed as a soloist in projects of contemporary spiritual music, in whose interpretation specialisation in old European music is applied to a great extent. At the Kammermusik Festival in Trondheim (Norway) he performed Steve Reich’s cantata Proverb prepared by the author. At Prague’s New Music Marathon he appeared as a soloist in Arvo Pärt’s Passio. Since 2004 he has regularly rendered tenor roles in Baroque opera period productions at the Castle Baroque Theatre in Český Krumlov – among them Handel’s opera Sosarme, which was also presented at a festival devoted to Handel music in Gottingen. In 2006 he collaborated on the modern premiere of Carlo Francesco Pollarolo’s opera La forza della virtu (1693), which has been preserved in the Český Krumlov’s archives. At the Prague Spring 2004 festival he performed in the tenor role as a member of Capella Regia (Robert Hugo) in the modern premiere of Antonio Denzi’s reconstructed Baroque opera Praga nascente da Libussa e Primislao. In 2005 Hasan el-Dunia performed with Huelgas Ensemble at Academie musical de Saintes and established collaboration on other projects. During 2006 he participated as an haute-contre in a concert series: Mass for Emperor Rudolph II by Filip de Monte with the ensemble Doulce memoire at the French festivals in Ambronay and Sablé sur Sarte. Since 2006 he has collaborated with the French ensemble Musica nova, specialised in Medieval polyphony and led by Lucien Kandel. Update: April 2007