Venus & Adonis in Hannover



Valdemar appears in La Festa Musicale and Ärt House 17’s production of John Blow’s opera Venus and Adonis at the Herrenhausen Barock.

In 17th century France, castration was not allowed. So back then, the opera stars in France were not castratis, but high tenors. This high tenor voice type in French baroque music is called an haute-contre, which is not the same as a countertenor! A countertenor sings within the female vocal range (soprano, mezzosoprano or alto), whereas an haute-contre is just a high tenor. Because of the French influence at English court, the haute-contre voice type appears in the baroque opera Venus and Adonis by English composer John Blow.

Being a high tenor, Valdemar Villadsen has sung a lot of French baroque music and a lot of haute-contre roles. Now, he will yet again appear in an haute-contre role, but this time in an English opera: Venus and Adonis – at the majestic Herrenhausen Palace in Hannover, with the acclaimed baroque orchestra La Festa Musicale conducted by Michael Hell. The production is directed by Thomas Höft, and the performances are part of the Herrenhausen Barock.



Mrs. Venus – Sophie Daneman

Mr. Adonis – Dietrich Henschel

Mr. Shepherd – Valdemar Villadsen

Cupid – Johanna Falkinger

Mr. Hunter – Dominik Wörner

Mr. Mars – Adrian Schvarzstein



For more information:


TV coverage of the show from German television NDR:,hallonds85836.html


Herrenhausen Palace

Herrenhausen Gallery located in Herrenhausen Gardens in Hannover, Germany