Catalan countertenor Xavier Sabata trained as an actor at Barcelona’s Institut del Teatre before studying singing at the Escola Superior de Musica Catalunya and at the Musikhochschule, Karlsruhe, where his teachers were Hartmut Höll and Mitsuko Shirai.
Opera productions have led him to the most distinguished opera houses worldwide including Teatro Real Madrid, Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, Staatsoper Unter den Linden, Theater an der Wien, Teatro La Fenice in Venice, the Grand Théâtre de Genève and next season he makes his Wiener Staatsoper debut as Ottone in Monteverdi’s Poppea under Pablo Heras-Casado. In 2019 Xavier was nominated as best male artist in the International Opera Awards.
Sabata’s repertoire spans from Cavalli and Monterverdi over the heroes of baroque opera seria to contemporary works. Recent roles have included Bertarido in Handel Rodelinda with Claus Guth under Stefano Montanari at Opéra de Lyon, as well as at Teatro Municipal de Santiago, Chile; Ottone in a revival of Monteverdi L’incoronazione di Poppea under Diego Fasolis at Staatsoper Unter den Linden; Endimione in La Calisto directed by David Alden with Ivor Bolton at Teatro Real, Madrid; the world premiere of L’enigma di Lea at Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona; title role in Handel Rinaldo on a European tour with Christophe Rousset and the Kammerorchester Basel including the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, as well as in a new production at the Perelada Festival and Ottone in Handel Agrippina on a European tour with Il Pomo D’Oro and Maxim Emelyanychev.
He has appeared with such ensembles as Les Arts Florissants, Europa Galante, Collegium 1704, the Venice Baroque Orchestra, Il Pomo D’Oro, Orquesta Barroca Sevilla and La Folia Barockorchester and collaborates regularly with conductors such as Fabio Biondi, René Jacobs, Jordi Savall, Alan Curtis, Gabriel Garrido, Fabio Bonizzoni, Diego Fasolis, Andrea Marcon, Xavier Dìaz Latorre, Ivor Bolton, George Petrou, Riccardo Minasi, Harry Bicket and Christopher Moulds. Concert performances have taken him to the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the Barbican Centre and Wigmore Hall in London, the Lincoln Center in New York, the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., the Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow, the Auditorio Nacional in Madrid and the Palau de la Musica in Barcelona as well as the Handel Festival in Halle, the Salzburg Festival, the Festival d’Aix-en- Provence, the Innsbruck Festival of Early Music, the Dresdner Musikfestspielethe, Handel Festival in Karlsruhe and to the Festival de musique Baroque d’Ambronay. He was awarded the Premio Ópera Actual in 2013, and the Premi Tendències d’el Mundo in 2014.
His extensive discography under major labels such as Virgin Classics/EMI, Decca, Harmonia Mundi Iberica and Aparté includes recordings of Handel’s Operas, “Faramando”, “Arminio”, “Ottone”, the internationally-awarded recording of “Alessandro” receiving eleven awards as well as “Tamerlano” in which Xavier Sabata sings the leading role. His solo recorded programme Bad Guys received unqualified praise in the press: ‘This ranks among the most intelligent and striking recital discs of recent years’ (The Guardian, London) as well has his albums “I dilettanti” and his newest solo album, “Catharsis”, focusing on operatic rarities from the early 18th century. He also participated in the Gala Night of Countertenors team, alongside Max Emanuel Cencic, Yuriy Mynenko and Franco Fagioli, released by DECCA.
In addition to his performances on the opera stage Xavier has a passion for Lied recently performing Schubert’s “Winterreise” in Barcelona and Girona, a cycle which he will has recently recorded and which will be released later this season.
Photo: Andreas Orban.