Male soprano is the new label accessory of 2022

Male soprano is the new label accessory of 2022


norman lebrecht

April 12, 2022

Decca signed one last month.

Now Warner.

Comes with a free pair of opera gloves.

Press release:

Bruno de Sá, the Brazilian male soprano, is the latest artist to sign an exclusive contract with Warner Classics-Erato.

His first album, Roma travestita, recorded with Il Pomo d’Oro and conductor Francesco Corti, will be released in 2022. Comprising arias by Vivaldi, Alessandro Scarlatti, Galuppi and Piccini, among others, it explores repertoire that arose after 1588, when Pope Sixtus V banned women from singing on public stages in the Papal States, and male singers were called upon to portray female characters.

As a male soprano, Bruno de Sá has a voice with a particular colour and texture that distinguishes him from both female sopranos and countertenors (whose range generally equates to a mezzo-soprano). His philosophy is “to sing roles that my voice allows me to sing”. 


  • Brian says:

    It’s the death throes of the classical music recording industry. They will try anything to try to remain relevant, no matter how weird, but in the end no one is going to buy.

    • Mouse says:

      “It’s the death throes of the classical music recording industry”


    • George Bancroft says:


      Classical music is becoming more popular among young people, according to new joint research by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, streaming service Deezer, and British Phonographic Industry (BPI). Of those streaming classical music in the last year, a third (34 percent) were 18 to 25 years old.

      Google finds you the facts (not ignorant opinion). Try it sometime…

      • Tiredofitall says:

        Yes, I would certainly trust research conducted by three music industry groups with vested interests.

        You can find statistics on
        Google to support nearly anything.

      • Tito Schipa says:

        Don’t confuse the classical recording industry with classical music. Recordings are dieing ( actually, been dead for a while) since there is no real format or the stores to sell them. Its just a fact. Live recordings, published to youtube or another streaming platform IS what there is. A produced studio recording like this is rare. Maybe they will be available for download on his or the companies website.
        Ive gotten used to countertenors now that the initial shock has long since worn off. Its just not my favorite period of music.

    • Kathleen E King says:

      Ever heard of Faranelli? Male sopranos were THE thing in opera until the castrati were outlawed. Those roles have been cast to mezzo, but believe me, they’ll return to males rapidly when the voices are there and trained.

      • guest says:

        Never heard of Faranelli but I am always open to new ideas (irony alert). Heard of Farinelli though. And of Senesino, Caffarelli, Pacchierotti, Crescentini, Marchesi – the whole lot of soprano and alto castrati.

        Nope, _male sopranos_ weren’t the thing in opera. _Castrati_ were the thing in 18th century opera. Very different thing, castrati. Just because the advertised guy is equipped to use an urinal, it doesn’t follow he can sing like a castrato. Shame on Warner for pretending otherwise and for advertising this guy as some sort of ‘authentic’ 18th century male singer. Castrati produced a very different sound from everyone else, male or female, due to the small size of their vocal chords. Male falsettists were _never_ the thing in _opera_. So called ‘Spanish falsettists’ were employed by the Sistine Chapel in the 16th century, and gradually replaced with castrati in the 17th century. Beginning 18th century male falsettists were long out of the Sistine Chapel Choir, and were never employed in opera to begin with. Female singers who eventually inherited castrati roles don’t sound like castrati either, but at least no one pretends they do.

    • SMH says:

      Why are you spouting off on a site devoted to the performing, not recorded, arts? The arts are thriving, you not so much.

    • N/A says:

      People are continuing to buy and will continue to buy. What it WILL do is weed out grumpy, arrogant viewers like you who seem offended at pretty much any societal progression these days. Trash taking itself out! 🙂

    • Piano Lover says:

      Absolutely right Brian.
      We don’t even need that kind of “show”

    • Tomasso Walter says:

      It’s been dead for years! Certainly as far as the ‘majors’ are concerned. Thank goodness for BIS, AVIE, etc who are the ones continuing, albeit at lower levels.

    • annabel says:

      The guy can actually sing, the orchestra are superlative and the music’s worth reviving. Engage ears before opening mouth.

  • Kenny says:

    I readily admit he/they looks “weird” to my elderly eyes. But it’s still about how he/they sings.

    • Harry Dahlsjo says:

      So a young, bearded Brazilian man looks “weird” to you?
      Why not share a recent photo of yourself and we can compare?

    • N/A says:

      And that’s ok. It can take time for us to get used to progressions and changes when we have been so used to one thing for many years. As long as we are all open to these new things! That’s the most important thing.

  • Mike Walsh says:

    Funny – this article popped up on Google for me just now, as I’m listening (on her birthday) to Montserrat Caballé pouring her golden tones into “Casta Diva.”

    REAL Soprano—that’s the “label accessory” I’m going with.

    • SMH says:

      He is singing appropriate rep for a high countertenor/male soprano. Not “Cast Diva”. Don’t act like such a fool.

  • James Weiss says:

    Can a “female bass” be far behind?

    • Kathleen E King says:

      Well there have been some. The problem is the vocal cords as well as the support. If the voice is great, what difference does it make? Lots of “pants” roles why not the other. Many of the “larger” ladies if they had that voice could easily perform the roles. Prejudice, prejudice, prejudice.

      • guest says:

        Misinformation, misinformation, misinformation. Give us examples of ‘female basses’ and roles _specifically_ written for them.

        ‘Great’ is the most overused superlative ever. There aren’t ‘great’ voices, there’s just the wish of the writer to bestow the superlative upon the singer of their choice.

    • SMH says:

      You sound like a fool. Clearly he is singing repertoire from the age of the castrati. Educate yourself.

    • annabel waterfield says:

      Vivaldi actually had one, described as “bassa” in the mss. There was a documentary about the Pieta choir, with a choir which had a female bass. at 28:00

  • Don B says:

    I heard him sing live a few months ago. Sounded fine to me. Looked dashing, too. There were a few eyes rolled in the audience, but hey – you want to listen to (and look at) what is familiar and safe, you put on a Monty C disk!

  • Ya what says:

    I’m sure his wife/girlfriend must be very proud of him.

  • Gerry Feinsteen says:

    If we use sports in the US, for example, a biological woman turned transgender man could easily be called “male soprano”, and, likewise, a “female bass.”

  • Donald Halliday says:

    What matters is can he sing. And he can.

  • IP says:

    There is another one, I think from Venezuela, who looks even more inclusive and diversified.

    • annabel waterfield says:

      You mean Samuel Mariño, who really can sing. Why not check the singers before making silly remarks?

  • Piano Lover says:

    Did he cut his b… to sound SOPRANO??


    Darn it! He is a fine singer. All these gender/voice definition controversies are becoming nauseating to hear over and over again. If you like how he sings, fine, if you DON’T like how he sings, fine.

    Just move on… life is too short to waste arguing these things that amount to a hill of beans.

  • Carlos says:

    So interesting to read so many opinions based on misinformation. Do you actually know what Bruno’s larynx is like? Do you know whether he is using falsetto or his natural voice and tessitura? I think you need to find out before you start discussing him. I have worked vocally with him some years ago and, I can assure you, I was in for a surprise.

    • Piano Lover says:

      “””Bruno’s larynx is like”””??
      DO we have to know about a pianist’s hands to judge the pianist??

      • Carlos says:

        You totally miss the point, which is whether he is a falsettist or he is singing with his natural voice

  • George T. says:

    Well, the Met is having a male turned female (sort of) sing a male role, like HUH!!!!