Charles Brett. His Interndiplom studies were carried out in the field of the Renaissance and Baroque at the prestigious Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, under the direction of Richard Levitt and Rene Jacobs. He attended courses at the Schola Cantorum given by guest teachers such as Jessica Cash and Emma Kirkby, took Medieval studies with Dominique Vellard, and participated in opera workshops there.
As a soloist he sings regularly with Hesperion XXI, Il Seminario Musicale, Concerto Italiano, Concerto Vocale, la Orquesta Ciudad de Granada, la Sinfonica de Madrid, la Orquesta Barroca de Sevilla, the San Francisco Symphony and the Akademie fur Alte Musik Berlin at festivals and in concert halls all over the world. In 2002 he sung the role of the Angelo Custode in Cavalieri's "Rappresentatione di Anima e di Corpo" in the Theatre Royal de la Monnaie in Bruxelles. That same year, he received praise from critics and public alike for his performances of the title role of Handel's "Radamisto" at the Salzburg Festival and in the Dortmund Konzerhaus. In 2003 he has sung in Monteverdi's "L'Orfeo" (in the role of Speranza) at the Innsbruck Festival and at the Berlin Staatsoper under the direction of Rene Jacobs.
He has worked with the Compania Nacional de Danza on various occasions, with his recital of music by Vivaldi within Nacho Duato's choreographical work "Castratto" (which took place in the Teatro Real of Madrid in May 2003) being a particular highlight.
Presently his musical interests are taking him into the world of Lieder. He is greatly interested also in 20th century repertory and has performed works by composers such as Orff, Tippett, Stravinsky, Bernstein and Britten.
Carlos Mena has been a guest teacher at the Early Music course organized by the University of Salamanca and at the Manuel de Falla courses in Granada.
Especially noteworthy among his numerous recordings is "De AEternitate ' (Mirare) which has been marked out for prizes such as the Diapason d'Or in 2002 in the recital section, a 'Recommande' by Classica, a 10 from Repertoire, a Choc from Le Monde de la Musique and as a 'Disco excepcional' by Scherzo. This recording represents his first collaboration with harmonia mundi.
Born: 1971 - Vitoria, Spain
The Spanish counter-tenor, Carlos Mena, was born in Vitoria (Spain), where he began his musical studies. He first worked as a counter-tenor in master classes with Charles Brett and in 1992 he went to Switzerland to study toward a Diploma of Renaissance-Baroque Music at the prestigious Schola Cantorum Basiliensis (SCB) of Basel, where he studied with his maestros R. Levitt and Rene Jacobs, and in master classes given by Emma Kirkby and others. He also took an interest in medieval music with D. Vellard and in opera, earning his diploma in 1997.
A revelation among the young generation of counter-tenors, Carlos Mena is a sheer delight for the emotion his voice stirs, the quality of its tessitura and his sensitive, intelligent performances. As soloist he is a member of several important ensembles including Al Ayre Espanol, Ensemble Guilles Binchois, Il Seminario Musicale, Ricercar Consort, La Capella Reial de Catalunya, Hesperion XX, and Orphenica Lyra.
With them Carlos Mena travels around the world singing in Auditorio Nacional of Madrid, Palau de la Musica of Barcelona, Konzerthaus of Vienna, Stadtsoper of Berlin, Chapelle Royale of Versailles, Sidney Opera House, Concert Hall of Melbourne, Teatro Colon of Buenos Aires, Alice Tully Hall of New York City, and Sakura Hall of Tokyo.
Carlos Mena records for Decca, Accord, Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, Glossa, and Alia Vox. He is also very interested in 20th century repertoire (Stravinsky, Britten, Orff, Bernaola, Aracil, Bernstein).
In 1997 Carlos Mena sang the role of Orfeo in Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice at the Teatro Guaira (Brasil). He has taught courses in Ancient Music at the University of Salamanca.