About the film
Release Date: December 19, 1999
An LWT South Bank Show, presented by Melvyn Bragg, exploring the phenomenon of countertenor singing. With its unique, soaring beauty, the high male voice is today enjoying a huge resurgence in popularity. Heirs to the celebrated castrati of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, today's countertenors produce their voices by wholly natural means. In this programme international stars Michael Chance, Andreas Scholl and James Bowman, as well as popstar Jimmy Somerville, shed light on the appeal of the male falsetto. Meanwhile, experts such as Michael White place today's countertenors in their historical context. What emerges is a compelling portrayal of an unmistakable vocal style, rooted in church and operatic tradition, yet completely up-to-date, resonating louder today than at any time in the last two hundred years.