Mehta, Bejun, remarkable American countertenor; b. Laurinburg, N.C., June 29, 1968. He was reared in a musical family. His father was a pianist and teacher, and a cousin of Zubin Mehta, and his mother was a singer and journalist. His precocious musical talent manifested itself at an early age, and he soon won notice as a boy soprano of great promise. At 15, he made his first CD, which was honored with the “Debut Recording Artist of the Year” citation from Stereo Review. He then studied cello with Aldo Parisot in New Haven (1984–90), where he also studied Germanic literature at Yale Univ. (B.A., 1990). During this period, he became active as a record producer, which led him to found Bejun Mehta Productions, Inc., a classical music audio production firm. In 1991 he began to make appearances as a baritone, and pursued vocal training with Phyllis Curtin in Boston (1991–94) and Edward Zambara in N.Y. (1994–97). In 1995 he portrayed Papageno in a N.Y.C. Opera Education production. He gave up singing as a baritone in 1997, and studied the countertenor voice with Joan Patenaude in N.Y from 1998, the same year that he made his operatic debut as a countertenor with the N.Y.C. Opera as Armindo in Partenope. That same year, he made his debut as a countertenor soloist with the Arcadian Academy at the 92nd St. Y in N.Y under Nicholas McGegan’s direction, who also conducted his London debut that year at Wigmore Hall. In 1999 he made his recital debut as a countertenor in N.Y. under the auspices of the Marilyn Home Foundation. That same year, he also appeared as Bertarido in Rodelinda at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, as Polinesso in Ariodante at the N.Y.C. Opera, as the Voice of Apollo in Death in Venice at the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa, and as a soloist with the Minnesota Orch. in Minneapolis. He portrayed Farnace in Mitridate at the Théâtre du Chatelet and Andronico in Tamerlano with Les Talens Lyriques in Paris in 2000. In 2001 he was engaged to sing at the St. Denis Festival in France.
—Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire