Gaga, move over — and you, too, Annie Lennox, Grace Jones and David Bowie. Make room for the countertenors, particularly Bejun Mehta, whose sweet voice holds a sweet and strange, gender-bending and -transcending beauty.
This 43-year-old American singer made his first splash almost 30 years ago as a sublime boy soprano. However, when his voice changed, Mehta lost his way a bit artistically, and after a turn as what he’s called “a thoroughly mediocre baritone,” Mehta has made his way back to the stage in thrilling high-wire feats — the kind of dazzling material that composers like Handel excelled at producing for the star castratos of the 18th century, when boys who had fabulous voices had those sounds quite gruesomely and surgically preserved. Today, a handful of great countertenors sing this music in falsetto.