One of the highest male voices in the world hails from down under. David Hansen talks about vanquishing his rivals and his new CD.

At the Hobart Baroque festival in April, I struck up a conversation with a certain multimillionaire art collector; no stranger to the weird and wacky, exotic and rare. But when we got on to the topic of countertenors, as one inevitably does at a Baroque music festival, he was mystified: “I just want to yank their trousers down to see if their balls have been cut off!” That’s putting it, er, bluntly.

The following evening, we encountered one such specimen: Norway-based Australian David Hansen, returned from the far-flung fjords and a demanding international schedule for his highly anticipated homecoming recital. After the first aria, sources tell me, the same eccentric art mogul was heard to exclaim – even more bluntly – “F**k me dead!” Perhaps he was just saying what everyone was thinking. Perhaps he was imagining Hansen as an exhibit in his museum, where this extraordinary singer could surely shatter the glass casing with a single, stratospheric money-note.

Far from perturbed by the freak-show curiosity about his manhood, the subject of all this intrigue...