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Hasan El-Dunia (Tenor, Counter-tenor)

Born: 1973 - Czech Republic (?)

The Czech (?) tenor and counter-tenor, Hasan El-Dunia, studied between 1994 and 2000 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 1990's 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 early music. He studied singing Renaissance polyphony with conductor Bohuslava Korejse at Týnské škole in Prague, and also attended interpretation seminars of Gregorian chant in 1994.

In 1994 Hasan El-Dunia became a member of the Schola Gregoriana Pragensis ensemble directed by David Eben. With this ensemble, he appeared at concerts in Germany, France, Italy, Poland, Sweden, Norway, Israel, Japan, and made numerous recordings (eight CD's for Supraphon and Sony Music). From 1997 to 2000 he studied singing with Jiří Kotouč. He attended singing master-classes under the tutelage of leading performers of historical music (Marius van Altena, Peter Kooy). Professional study of singing focused on eary vocal music along with his special timbre led him to performing as a counter-tenor.

As an ensemble and solo singer, Hasan El-Dunia has sung at concerts and made recordings with ensembles performing period Czech and European Baroque music, including Capella Regia (Director: Robert Hugo), Inegal, Ritornello, Collegium 1704 (Director: Václav Luks), Musica Florea (Director: Marek Štryncl).

In 2002 Hasan El-Dunia appeared in Jan Dismas Zelenka and Antonio 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 Hasan El-Dunia has regularly rendered tenor roles in contemporary productions Baroque operas at the Castle Baroque Theatre in Český Krumlov – among them George Frideric Handel’s opera Sosarme, which was also presented at a festival devoted to Handel music in Göttingen. 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 (Director: 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 (CD "Les Sommets de la polyphonie") 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. As a soloist, he worked in the project stage version of J.S. Bach's Johannes-Passion (BWV 245) with the Dutch group Voces Traject conducted by Dirkjan Horringy. In the 2008 season he continued to co-operate on a project music Habsburg courts at the Prague Spring and the Festrivalu Sable.

At the National Theater in Prague he performed as a soloist and enseme singer in a production of Monteverdi's Orfeo ery directed by Jiřího Heřmana under the buton of Italian conductor Roberto Gini in period interpretation.

Source: Podzimní festival Website, Žižkov Website & SHF 2016 Website, English translation by Aryeh Oron (March 2017); Národní divadlo Website (April 2007)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (March 2017)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Václav Luks


Member of Collegium Vocale 1704:
V-3 (2015, Video):
BWV 232 [2nd recording]

Agnieszka Żarska


C-2 (2015, Video): BWV 194
C-3 (2016, Video):
BWV 249, BWV 129

Links to other Sites

Hasan El Dunia / tenor (Podzimní festival duchovní hudby Olomouc) [Czech]
Hasan El-Dunia - tenor (Žižkov) [Czech]
Hasan El-Dunia (Národní divadlo)
Hasan El-Dunia (SHF 2016 - Svatováclavský hudební festival) [Czech]

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Last update: Friday, September 15, 2017 02:29