Countermelody Podcast

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About Countermelody Podcast

Hello, and welcome to Countermelody, the new podcast on great singers and great singing with the American countertenor, coach, teacher, and writer Daniel Gundlach (that’s me!) In today’s world where misunderstanding and hostility increasingly are the order of the day, I remain daily grateful for the miracle of the human voice raised in song. At its best, the singing voice is unmatched in conveying unvarnished truth, honesty, transparency, and sincerity.

My earliest listening experiences exposed me to singers who greatly influenced my impressionable young self and who remain guiding lights for me today: singers like Lotte Lehmann, Claudia Muzio, Janet Baker, Maria Callas, Jennifer Vyvyan, Brigitte Fassbaender, Anita Cerquetti, Gérard Souzay, Shirley Verrett, Margaret Price, Peter Schreier, Renata Scotto, Eileen Farrell, Peter Pears, Lucia Popp, Alexander Kipnis, Maggie Teyte, Carol Neblett, Gundula Janowitz, Jussi Björling, Elisabeth Söderström, Jennie Tourel, Régine Crespin, Eleanor Steber, and so many others. These singers put their lives on the line for their art and poured their heart, soul, and artistry into all they did. There’s nothing half-assed about their artistry; they speak directly to my heart and I love them (and so many others) for that level of commitment.

As I spread my listening net wider, I discovered many, many more singers who also enchanted me. Some, but not all of them, were nearly perfect singers, some were not. Some were widely celebrated; others, less so. What linked them all was that they all had something crucial to say. I’m talking about singers like Irmgard Seefried, Hugo Hasslo, Eidé Noréna, Heinrich Rehkemper, Teresa Stratas, Sergei Lemeshev, Janine Micheau, Pavel Lisitsian, Galina Vishnevskaya, Sándor Kónya, Delia Reinhardt, Riccardo Stracciari, Sylvia Sass, and so many others. These are some of the singers, particularly the less well-known ones, which I am eager to bring to my listeners, whether in the guise of an old favorite, a forgotten pleasure, or a first acquaintance.

If it sounds as if I am on a bit of a mission here, that’s probably true: Over the course of my entire life I have been listening to singers, followed by a career as a singer myself, which in more recent years has expanded to a further career as a voice teacher and vocal coach. My career was a fairly active one which never took full flight. In spite of that, I had some of the most gratifying experiences of my life performing on some of the world’s great stages. I am also convinced that my vocal longevity has more to do with underemployment than flawless vocal technique! I was guided by my own musical instincts which sometimes were filtered through an unfortunate self-doubt. But I never doubted the ideal that I had in my ear, an ideal that had been shaped by so many hours listening to great singers, singers that I took into my heart and that helped make me into the singer, the artist, and the person that I am today.

Though Countermelody will be available wherever you normally get your podcasts, I have also created a website (www.countermelodypodcast.com) which will also provide access to each episodes as well as show notes for each individual episode. These may include YouTube clips, photographs, and possibly a bibliography and links to other relevant material which I hope will enhance your listening experience.

In addition, I will be posting additional subscription content available to supporters via Patreon. This will include further information on the singers that I will be discussing on the podcast, livestreams of my lectures and concerts, as well as unedited interviews. If you pledge your support to keep Countermelody up and running, I will make sure that you get something from me in gratitude for that support!

It’s quite possible that my entire life has been leading to this point, weekly episodes of Countermelody, that is. I look forward to bringing to my listening public the experiences, voices, and singers that have helped shape me and hope that you, too, might find a place for them in your listening pantheons and perhaps also into your hearts. Thanks for tuning in!