Enjoy Celebrity Radio’s Classical Singer Garðar Thór Cortes Life Story Interview…..
Garðar Thór Cortes is an Icelandic tenor of Icelandic and English parentage. A former child actor, Garðar subsequently trained as a singer in Vienna, Copenhagen and London.
He has performed various leading tenor roles in operas, as well as a leading part in The Phantom of the Opera in London’s West End.
While insisting that he is first and foremost a classical opera singer, it was with his classical crossover album Cortes, released in Iceland in 2005, that Garðar came to prominence.
Cortes’ debut album in the UK, also titled Cortes, was released on 16 April 2007 and entered the UK classical chart at number 1.
Enjoy an exclusive interview with Alex Belfield and Cortes…
His debut album in the UK, also titled Cortes, was released on 16 April 2007 and entered the UK Classical Charts at number 1. Garðar is currently supporting Elaine Paige in the UK and will play several dates at the Harpa concert hall across December 2014 and January 2015.
His single “Luna” (2007), featuring English soul singer Heather Small, reached number two on the Icelandic online music charts. His first album in the UK, Cortes, which was released on 16 April 2007, entered the UK Classical Charts at number 1 and the UK albums chart at number 27, a first for an Icelandic artist.
It remained at number 1 for two weeks – the weeks ending 28 April and 5 May 2007 – on the official ClassicFM chart. It has since gone double platinum.
Despite his classical crossover success, Garðar has said, “I don’t want to go too far down the pop side because then I think I would lose credibility in the classical world. If the album [Cortes] does well, hopefully I could use that to my advantage, but I’m a classical opera singer – that’s what I do, that’s what I am.”
His ambition is to sing Otello at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, London.
In 2011, he appeared in The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall, as Passarino. He also released an album of Icelandic songs in collaboration with his father, Gardar thor Cortes Sr., called Island.
In 2012, an opera CD was released, named Rossini: L’Occasione Fa Il Ladro, which had Cortes as one of the casting tenors.
Garðar performed as Alfredo in La traviata at Harpa concert hall in Reykjavik on 6 and 7 September 2014.
Interview recorded by Alex Belfield for Celebrity Radio & the BBC.