Northern Exposure; Iceland's Top Musician Isn't Bjork but an Opera Singer with the Looks of Brad Pitt and the Voice of Pavarotti

Newsweek International, May 7, 2007 | Go to article overview

Northern Exposure; Iceland's Top Musician Isn't Bjork but an Opera Singer with the Looks of Brad Pitt and the Voice of Pavarotti


Byline: Ginanne Brownell

Here's a bit of Icelandic trivia: who has the country's fastest-selling record of all time? It's not Sigur Ros or Nylon--two successful pop acts that have broken out in the past several years. Nor is it Bjork, who is by far Iceland's biggest musical export. Give up? The honor goes to a 32-year-old opera singer by the name of Gardar Thor Cortes, who happens to break every stereotype in the classical music book: he's got smoldering good looks--he was voted Iceland's sexiest man twice in one year--and there is nothing stuffy about him. He did, after all, spend a year on the London stage in the title role of "Phantom of the Opera" and counts Bon Jovi and Prince among his favorite acts. "There is a lot of snobbery around classical music that I do not think should be there," Cortes says, lounging in a hip black suit at his record company's office in London's Soho. "Number one is the music and the drama and the passion because that is what really counts."

What counts now for his career is how well his debut album, "Cortes," sells abroad. In Britain at least, where it's being released this month, Cortes has the home-court advantage; his mother is British, and the tenor himself spent a few years at a British boarding school. Audiences got a taste of his classical side last autumn when he toured the country with the popular Welsh soprano Katherine Jenkins. Critics have hailed him as a stunning new talent embodying the "spirit of Pavarotti" with a robust range and heartfelt resonance; Einar Bardarson, the managing director of Cortes's record label, Believer Music Group, thinks Cortes has the goods to become a major crossover star. "We hope he will be one of the pinnacle voices of the early 21st century," he says. "We are looking at him as someone who has a lengthy career ahead of him."

Cortes understands how fickle the music business can be. His parents were both students at the Royal Academy of Music; his mother is a concert pianist and in his prime, his father--who founded the Icelandic Opera, the Reykjavik Academy of Singing and the Reykjavik Symphony Orchestra--was considered a world-class tenor in the same league as Pavarotti and Placido Domingo. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Northern Exposure; Iceland's Top Musician Isn't Bjork but an Opera Singer with the Looks of Brad Pitt and the Voice of Pavarotti
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.