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Russell Oberlin


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Born Akron, Ohio 1928. A counter tenor who sang in a natural (not falsetto) voice. Gave up singing in about 1965 to teach. Now retired. His voice was strong and metallic but capable of great subtlety.
Had he continued to record into the stereo and digital era he would undoubtedly be better known.
His repertoire was Early Music (eg Dowland, Purcell) and his performances of Handel arias have recently been released by DG.

He also sang songs by composers such as Alessandro Scarlatti, Schumann, Wolf and Schubert. A performance of JS Bach’s Cantata No 54 “Widerstehe doch der Sunde” with Glenn Gould (c 1962) can be found on youtube as well as the Handel aria “Vivi Tirrano” and Purcell’s “Musick for a while”.
The DVD “Russell Oberlin - America’s Legendary Counter Tenor” is available and includes TV footage of songs as well as a 2004 interview.

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