Eric Gentet is famous in France as ‘Eric le Rossignol’ (Eric the nightingale) after first achieving fame on the French TV show Prodiges singing opera aged just 8 years old.
He wowed the judges with his handling of complex arias sung in several languages. A starring role with the Red Army Choir followed and by 11 he was the soloist for a choir of 10,000 children in a stadium in front of 40,000 spectators and a household name across France.
Now 15, Eric is still impressing audiences across Europe by defying expectations as he retains his soprano voice. Eric uses a classic but rarely used today vocal technique which has enabled boys to retain their angelic, controlled vibrato, singing voices long after the speaking voice has broken. This voice-technique has all but disappeared since the 1950’s : the last boys known were Derek Barsham, Michael Morely and Frank Bird. Today, Eric celebrates their legacy, returning to and giving new life to their wonderful repertoire.
Eric will perform a recital of English, Irish and French songs at Portico in Portaferry on Thursday 4 November at 7.30pm. Portico’s manager Dr Verity Peet said, “Eric has especially asked for children’s tickets to be free of charge because he is very keen to encourage young choristers and children who love to sing.”
Eric will be accompanied by Orly Watson on piano and organ. Orly is Organist and Director of Music at Dromore Cathedral and official accompanist at Queen´s University, Belfast.
To find out more about Eric’s programme or to buy tickets please visit porticoards.com.