For Venezuelan male sopranos ‘gender-defying performances’Readies Album

Samuel Marino is a Venezuelan soprano. He is known for his singing. “gender-defying performances”Decca Classics has signed a deal with, and they will be releasing an album in the new year.

The 28-year old singer was bullied in his youth for his high voice. He considered having surgery to lower his pitch, but a specialist doctor recommended that he use the countertenor vocal style.

Marino is well-known for his performances in a dress and makeup. He hopes that his album will help spread a positive message about identity.

For Venezuelan male sopranos ‘gender-defying performances’Readies AlbumSamuel Marino (Diana Gomez/PA)

He stated: “Whether someone feels like a man, a woman, non-binary, I want people to make music.

“When I wear a dress and make-up on stage, I do it because I love fashion and it’s a statement.

“I get messages from transgender people who say thank you so much for being on stage like this. This encourages me to continue to make this art that I love so much.”

Announcing his signing, Decca Classics said the performer’s “gender-defying performances have helped him connect, not only to passionate opera lovers, but also with audiences new to the artform and those seeking representation”.

Marino studied singing in Venezuela’s National Conservatory, Caracas. He then moved to Europe to work at Disneyland Paris to pay his expenses.

After studying at the Conservatoire de Paris, he was awarded a series opera awards and made his stage debut at the Handel Festival of Halle.

On April 22, the singer will make a London debut at St Martin-in-the-Fields.

For Venezuelan male sopranos ‘gender-defying performances’Readies AlbumThe cover of Samuel Marino’s album Sopranista (Decca Classics/PA)

Marino sings arias originally written for male castrato singers in the 1700s on his album Sopranista. These arias have been sung mainly by female voices since the ban on castration.

The album opens with the Cherubino aria from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s The Marriage Of Figaro in which a female singer sings the role of a boy.

Marino has been approached by a number of musicologists to record and perform arias that were written for male sopranos but have been neglected for many centuries.

Marino sings works by Domenico Cimarosa and Joseph Bologne in this album. Decca Classics calls it their world premieres.

Laura Monks, and Tom Lewis, the co-presidents at Decca Records, stated: “As a teenager and despite the bullies and crushing pressure to conform, Samuel found the strength to stand out.

“As a result, he has travelled the world, charmed the musical world and become an extraordinary, inspiring role model for acceptance and understanding.

“When Samuel sings, he transports you to another world. He is quite literally one of a kind.”

Decca Classics will release Sopranista May 27th.

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