Gus Mercante - Countertenor
Described by The New York Times as a "glowing countertenor", Augustine Mercante enjoys an active career performing repertoire from the Baroque to the newly-created. His 2014-2015 season included multiple performances with the American Spiritual Ensemble, including a debut at Avery Fisher Hall, Bach’s Christmas Oratoio and Cantata 150 with the Oregon Bach Festival, William Shield's Robin Hood with Brandywine Baroque, Messiah with the Mid-Columbia Symphony, and Bach's Magnificat with Delaware ChoralArts.
Last year he premiered Aaron Grad's Old-Fashioned Love Songs for countertenor and electric theorbo, an instrument which the composer created and built, and was praised by the Washington Post for his "full-bodied sweetness, exemplary pitch, and a reliably musical imagination.” As a 2013 Vocal Fellow of the Tanglewood Music Center, his performance in the American premiere of George Benjamin's Written on Skin was described by the Wall Street Journal as "riveting" with a voice that "soared above the texture, lining the text with the haloed elegance of gold-leaf inscription".
As a 2010 Fulbright Scholar, Gus completed post-graduate studies in Augsburg, Germany with soprano Edith Wiens and appeared in Vivaldi's Orlando furioso at Munich's Prinzregententheater under the direction of Michael Hofstetter and in scenes from Orfeo ed Euridice for Nurnberg Opera's International Gluck Festival with conductor Guido Rumstadt. On the concert stage he has collaborated with conductors such as Ton Koopman, Matthew Halls, and David Amado.
In addition to his artist diploma, he holds degrees from the University of North Texas and the University of Delaware, where he was honored to be the inaugural recipient of the Robert King Memorial Scholarship.
Gus and his husband, Justin, live in Wilmington, Delaware where Gus maintains a private teaching studio, is on the voice faculty at The Music School of Delaware, and is an adjunct instructor at Wilmington University.