To that rarefied group of vocalists (think Mariah Carey, Minnie Ripperton, Klaus Nomi) who can send their pipes up into "whistle range," please welcome the Latvian-born Russian singer, Vitas. A congressional page who I am on extremely cordial terms with introduced me to his work. The best introduction to Vitas' oeuvre would be his breakout song from 2000, Opera 2: download mpeg video (6 megs), or youtube it here. This is a live version of Opera 2, complete with a string section decked out in burkas, and a chorus of women whose only official role seems to be to writhe and sweat whenever Vitas hits that high F note. A Russian MTV video of this same song (youtube link) is nowhere near as entertaining, but it does include thrilling special effects of Vitas using his awesome talents to break glass and generally wreak havoc.
Vitas' own website reveals his divine providence:
Oh, my God!!! Bless this lovely boy! Give him Patience, Gladness, hearty Light, Inspiration and Love... Each his work like a new pearl appears in our hearts with tears of gladness as heaven-sent!!!!! You want to hear him again and again,... infinitely! I breathe this voice, plunging into thin ethereal world, but I cannot get to know this sweet secret of life... As a crystal starts to play with different colors of a rainbow, when the beam of the sun falls to it, as unsurpassed pure voice of Vitas plays and sparkles with all shades in a beam of divine light. This voice both flows with tenderness from the depth of the soul,and shrilly fills with itself all space...
Not all of Vitas' videos are as exciting as Opera 2, but one recent song, Smile, does include more requisite reaching for the heavens while trilling all the way into non-castrated falsetto ecstasy: youtube link.
But don't think you can pigeonhole Vitas! He's not always clenching the heavens as he reaches for the high notes - far from it. In this live performance of his song Blessed Guru, he works out on his low register, while playing the role of an android from the future who visits the Neanderthals, on a stage set highly reminiscent of Spinal Tap's Stone Henge: download mpeg video (20 megs), or youtube it.