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Musical World

Charles Maxwell

  • Countertenor


Charles Maxwell's voice is especially fascinating with the brilliance and clarity even in the extremely high ranges without ever losing its volume. Besides his large Lied and concert repertoire (e.g. Altus in „The Messiah“ and „Christmas Oratorio“ by Haendel) Charles Maxwell also sings a very wide opera repertoire, from Haendel, Gluck (Orfeo ed Euridice), Domenico Scarlatti (La Dirindina, Intermezzo) to Benjamin Britten (Death in Venice, A Mid Summernight’s Dream) and contemporary composers.
In 1994, he made his debut in Vienna as Apollo in Britten's "Death in Venice“. In 1995, his New York debut in the world premiere of Daron Hagen’s James Merril Songs. Most successful engagements followed as Aziz/Thief in Moritz Eggert’s "Helle Nächte“ in the Munich Biennale, as well as Purcell’s „Fairy Queen“ at the Bayerische TheaterAkademie. After having convinced Vienna audiences and critics again in Philippe Boesmans "Der Reigen“, he was engaged to cover for Jochen Kowalski in the role of Oberon in Britten’s „Mid Summernight’s Dream", a role which he also performed during that season at the Wiener Volksoper. He appeared in the musical show "Chicago" at the Theater an der Wien and sang "Dido and Aeneas" in Bielefeld.
He returned to Volksoper Wien in the role of Prince Orlofsky in "The Bat". Charles Maxwell sang the first Swiss performance of Salvatore Sciarrino's opera "The deadly flower" at the Theatre of Luzerne under the baton of Beat Furrer. He also sang Mago Christiano, Araldo and Donna in „Rinaldo“ at Munich State Opera, where he was reinvited to sing . In Austria's first performance of Alfred Schnittke's "Historia of Dr. Johann Fausten" produced by the Neue Oper Vienna, he proved to be the ideal cast for Mephostophiles.
Charles Maxwell presented a serie of recitals with Klaus Maria Brandauer, among others at the Viennese Burgtheater, and sang Goffredo in Haendel's "Rinaldo" at the theatre of Lucerne, Switzerland, and Mauricio Kagel's chamber opera "Mare Nostrum" at the theatre of Basel, Switzerland. Charles Maxwell appeared also in the production of "Mare Nostrum" at the Konzerthaus Berlin which was invited to Bologna and to the Biennale in Venice for autumn 2005.
In a music theatre project initiated by the Theatre of Bielefeld, titled "Orfeo" and composed by Manos Tsangaris, he was extremely successful with a leading role. Changing from contemporary music to baroque again, Charles Maxwell sang Amanzio in Haendel's "Giustino" during the Karlsruhe Haendel Festival in February, a production which was re-represented in the following season, and Goffredo in Haendel's "Rinaldo" in Bielefeld, both very much acclaimed by the public and the critics. During the last season, he was performing in the world premiere of "Mozart Werke Ges.m.b.H." by Franz Wittenbrink and in "Steppenwolf" by Hermann Hesse at the Burgtheater Wien (Akademietheater).