Who is Cezar Ouatu, the Romanian countertenor and X Factor contestant who once dated Angela Gheorghiu?

21 September 2018, 18:24 | Updated: 24 September 2018, 09:34

The singer Cezar Ouatu wowed the judges with his performance of Puccini's Nessun Dorma. Here's everything you need to know

Cezar Ouatu is a Romanian operatic singer who grew up in Italy.

He began playing the piano as a child and then trained at the Giuseppe Verdi Music Academy in Milan. He has taken part in opera competitions including Renata Tebaldi's International Voice Competition, where he won 'Best Countertenor'.

He dated the world-famous soprano Angela Gheorghiu for a short time around 2013, but the couple are no longer together. He performed alongside the soprano at a concert in Romania in 2013.

He has performed at La Fenice opera house in Venice and in 2012 released a pop-opera single called 'Cinema Paradiso'.

On The X Factor 2018 he performed Puccini's Nessun Dorma for the four judges and an appreciative audience. And here are some more memorable classical performances from reality TV.

Classical Cezar Ouatu gets Simon Cowell smiling! | Auditions Week 4 | The X Factor UK 2018

What is a countertenor?

Cezar Ouatu is a countertenor, which is a high male voice. Countertenors use their falsetto range to sing notes that are roughly in the same range as a low female voice, like an alto.

British countertenor Iestyn Davies has said: "Falsetto is basically an additional range on top of your speaking voice. It evolves a slightly different vocal mechanism in terms of where the voice-box puts itself, to present the cords in such a way that the air passing through is only passing the thinner edges of the cords. So the sound is higher pitched."

Cezar once completed in the Eurovision Song Contest for Romania, where he used both his baritone and countertenor vocal range, to thrilling effect (although he ended up finishing in 13th place).

Cezar - It's My Life (Romania) - LIVE - 2013 Semi-Final (2)

The X Factor judges clearly think more of him, though.