Friar Alessandro's seasonal album of Christmas Carols and sacred arias sees him ranging from Bach and Handel to John Rutter. Drive Featured Album, 9 December 2013.
Friar Alessandro Brustenghi, known simply as Friar Alessandro is a tenor with a difference - he lives in a friary in Assisi and has devoted his life to God. He uses his singing as a form of religious praise.
- He started the organ aged 9, and began a long love affair with music. When he was 14 he decided to study music at a specialist school.
- Friar Alessandro joined a choir almost by accident, when a teacher at his school needed extra voices to fill up her class.
- By the time he was 19, his teachers were not convinced by his small-sounding voice, and they tried to stop him singing. He then decided to become a friar.
- He had a religious experience, which prompted his faith. He said: “I discovered the presence of God, a new presence, a different presence. Not just the feeling of goodness, but God as a person.”
- When he became a friar, he was told that he could not enter as a postulant unless he passed a singing exam; he had been told by his teachers that he was not up to it, but he passed the exam with distinction and puts this success down to God.
- In November 2001 he decided to live like a hermit, basing his life on St Francis.
- Alessandro was singing again in a small church in 2011, when he was encouraged to audition with a manager. The manager was moved and amazed and took his finding to Decca Records who were similarly stunned at the self-doubting friar with the miracle voice.
Did you know? Friar Alessandro’s producer has also worked with U2, Manic Street Preachers and The Cure.
Friar Alessandro Brustenghi talks to Classic FM in a revealing interview about his youth and his journey towards music
Discover a friar's personal take on some favourites from the choral canon. Album of the Week, 8 October 2012
Friar Alessandro: Voice From Assisi
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