The Los Angeles Times hailed Alan Dornak as “an impressive new countertenor on the scene” for his performance of Athamas in Handel’s Semele with the Long Beach Opera. Classics Today praised Mr. Dornak for “using his big countertenor voice with authority and accuracy” when he sang the role of Tauride in Handel’s Arianna in Creta with New York’s Gotham Chamber Opera. Mr. Dornak’s engagements in California, New York, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Holland, Spain and Brazil, have established him as an artist of international critical acclaim.
In the 2007-08 season Alan Dornak appears as soloist in Messiah with Boston Baroque and performs the role of Halimacus in Croesus with Minnesota Opera. He is currently the principal alto soloist of the Bach Choir, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in New York, a professional performance ensemble which uses period instruments.
He joined the roster of the Metropolitan Opera in 2006-07, and appeared as alto soloist with the Maryhouse Chorus and Chamber Orchestra, and the Queens Chamber Band, both in New York City. Other recent highlights include the title role in Giulio Cesare with the Hudson Opera Theatre, Handel’s Messiah with the Greater Pensacola Symphony Orchestra, works by Bach including his Magnificat in D with the Bach Choir, Messiah with the Maryhouse Chorus and Chamber Orchestra, Hartke’s Tituli at the Church of the Transfiguration (NY), and Joad in Handel’s Athalia with the Queens Chamber Band. In the summer of 2007, he taught at Festa Lirica in Italy.
Mr. Dornak first began to pursue his career as a countertenor after singing both the role of the Seaman (tenor) and that of the Spirit (countertenor) in a performance of Dido and Aeneas with the Brandenburg State Theater. With great encouragement from the countertenor Michael Chance, and after being awarded a grant by the Horst and Gretl Will Foundation, Mr. Dornak furthered his studies at the Hochschule für Musik in Dresden where he received two advanced degrees in vocal performance. Immediately after making the transition to countertenor, Mr. Dornak found himself in demand as a concert soloist throughout Germany in regional and international music festivals with renowned early music ensembles such as the Dresdner Kreuzchor, Berliner Lautten Compagney, Dresdner Kammerchor, Sächsiches Vocalensemble, Weimarer Barockensemble, Ensemble Alte Musik Dresden, and the Telemannisches Collegium Michaelstein.
Alan Dornak has triumphed in performances of standard countertenor repertoire such as Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (directed by Axel Koehler) in Munich and Regensburg and the title role of Giulio Cesare in Dresden and New York. He made his countertenor stage debut with the Berliner Kammeroper as Valerius in Kaiser’s Der Tempel des Janus. His success continued with notable engagements with the Berliner Lautten Compagney including roles in two Pallavicino operas, singing Hermia/Aristo in a touring production of L’Antiope and Ubaldo in La Gerusalemme liberata at the Dresden Music Festival. Also at the Dresden Music Festival, he was praised for his “powerful voice” (Dresdner Neueste Nachrichten) for his performances of Odoardo/Lelio in Hasse’s La Sorella amante. He performed the role of Cleone in Graun’s Orfeo with the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin (conducted by Ralf Popken) at the Music Festival Potsdam-Sanssouci, and the roles of Eris and Sophimene in numerous touring performances of Meder’s Die beständige Argenia. These performances inspired a German television documentary, Behind the Scenes with a Countertenor.
His extensive oratorio experience includes performances throughout Germany, Holland and the United States of Handel’s Messiah and Joshua, Bach’s St. John Passion and Christmas Oratorio, Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, and Orff’s Carmina Burana. As a respected recitalist throughout Europe and North and South America, Mr. Dornak has performed solo recitals throughout Germany, at Carnegie Hall (Weill Hall) with The Queen’s Chamber Band, and throughout Brazil on tour with the Ensemble Il Dolcimelo.
Among his various recordings, Mr. Dornak has gained critical acclaim and earned special recognition from Klassik Heute for his “beautiful voice” and “exemplary” performance in the 2004 recording of J.K. Kerll’s Missa Nigra released by Oehmsclassic. Recordings of Mr. Dornak are broadcast on a regular basis throughout the world.
“Alan Dornak’s Athamas revealed an impressive new countertenor on the scene.” [In SEMELE – Long Beach Opera] — Los Angeles Times
“As Tauride, countertenor Alan Dornak staggered around like one of Monty Python’s loutish Gumbies and also sang with commendable agility…” [ARIANNA IN CRETA – Gotham Chamber Opera] — Opera News
“Countertenor Alan Dornak, in the role of Tauride, King Minos’s awkwardly lustful captain, provided a consistent, strong stream of falsetto sound.” [ARIANNA IN CRETA – Gotham Chamber Opera] — New York Sun