Meet Jakub Józef Orliński, the countertenor who combines opera and breakdancing
17 September 2019, 13:16 | Updated: 20 September 2019, 10:50
Opera and breakdancing “have quite a lot in common” according to opera’s new star countertenor – here’s everything you need to know.
Jakub Józef Orlińksi is a 28-year-old Polish countertenor, best known for combining two unlikely art forms: opera and breakdancing.
A rising star of the opera world, he has recently appeared at Glyndebourne, Frankfurt Opera and Verbier Festival.
We caught up with Jakub about his recent Glyndebourne appearance, what singing as a countertenor involves and – how those impressive dance moves contribute to his career in opera – watch above.
Who is Jakub Józef Orliński?
Jakub Józef Orliński is a Polish countertenor, known for coupling breakdancing with a successful career in opera.
Orliński studied at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music and has performed at Carnegie Hall, Frankfurt Opera – and with Julliard Opera – among others.
He has a big following on social media, with over 40,000 followers on Instagram and counting.
How does breakdancing contribute a career in opera?
“What I love about mixing breakdancing, or hip-hop culture, with the opera world is that, actually, they have quite a lot in common,” Orliński says.
That might not seem likely – and the countertenor himself says he thought that too – but turns out, the two go rather well together.
“You can take a lot from the one art form, and put it into the other one. It’s not just that I like to do a trick because I can do a trick. It’s because you can do a lot of things to do with body awareness on stage.
“I feel very comfortable when I’m performing opera, or when I do concerts, because I’m just aware of my body.”
Being aware of his body has helped Orlinski in his recent performance as Rinaldo at Glyndebourne, for example.
What is a countertenor?
“A countertenor sings with falsetto,” Orliński tells us.
“Usually when you’re using your natural you are using the whole chords to vibrate, and if you are using the falsetto – or the head voice – you are using just the edges – and that’s why you can sing so high.”
Watch above to see an excerpt from a recent performance of Orliński’s, that demonstrates his countertenor voice.
Visit jakubjozeforlinski.com to find out more.
Rinaldo production and rehearsal footage courtesy of Glyndebourne Productions Ltd. Rinaldo Edition by David R Kimbell by arrangement with Bärenreiter-Verlag, Kassel and Faber Music Ltd, London.