Gardar Thór Cortes is a unique talent from a unique land. His name may appear Spanish but he's from Iceland, where his debut album was the fastest selling release ever. When the album was released in the UK in April it shot straight to number one in the classical charts and has stayed there ever since, keeping the likes of Pavarotti off the top spot.
Great tenors can bloom in strange places but Gardar was born to sing. His sister Nanna a soprano is a professional opera singer and younger brother Aron is currently studying to be a baritone. His English mother Krystyna, a concert pianist, was a piano student at the Royal Academy of Music when she married Gardar Cortes senior and moved to the north Atlantic. Cortes's father was a world class Tenor in his prime with Domingo actually stepping in for him once when he was too ill to perform.
His debut concert in Reykjavik, where he was joined by Katherine Jenkins, was another triumph. For the UK release of the album he has recorded five new songs "Where The Lost Ones Go", a duet with Katherine, "Hunting High and Low by Aha", Luna, "Nessun Dorma" and the bravura "Granada" that ends on a high C..
The rest of 2007 looks set to be really exciting for the tenor, he has tours lined up with Dame Kiri as well as Lesley Garrett and will be appearing at open air concerts all over the UK this Summer. One day the tenor from Reykjavik will fulfil his ambition to sing Otello at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. But right now he is an undiscovered gem whose debut album is a compelling mixture of ice and fire.
Source: IMX Icelandic Music Export
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