Gerald Finley

Voice/Instrument: Baritono


GERALD FINLEY - This Canadian baritone has become one of the leading singers and dramatic interpreters of his generation, with award-winning performances and recordings on CD and DVD with major labels and performing at the world’s major opera and concert venues in a wide variety of repertoire. His recent awards include Best Solo Vocal Recording 2008 for his CDs on Hyperion of Songs by Samuel Barber and again in 2009 for Schumann's Heine settings at the Classic FM Gramophone Awards. He was recently honoured at the 2009 Opera News Awards for distinguished achievement. His active relationship with leading conductors including Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Sir Simon Rattle, Bernard Haitink, Alan Gilbert and Antonio Pappano has been part of a flourishing career.

In opera, Mr Finley has sung all the major baritone roles of Mozart. His Don Giovanni has been seen in New York, London, Paris, Rome, Vienna, Prague, Tel Aviv and Budapest, with further appearances to include Glyndebourne and Munich. As the Count in Le nozze di Figaro, his appearances include the Royal Opera Covent Garden (Best Opera DVD 2008), Salzburg Festival (2007, 2009), Paris, Amsterdam, with further appearances at the Metropolitan Opera New York. Mr Finley’s expanding repertoire includes critical successes as Eugene Onegin, and Yeletsky at Covent Garden, and as Onegin at English National Opera. His portrayal of Golaud in Pelléas et Mélisande at Covent Garden, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle, won him a nomination for 'Outstanding Achievement In Opera' at the 2008 Laurence Olivier Awards.

In contemporary opera, Mr Finley has excelled in creating leading roles, most notably J. Robert Oppenheimer in John Adam’s Doctor Atomic (New York Met, ENO London, San Francisco, Chicago and Amsterdam). For creating the role of Harry Heegan in Mark Anthony Turnage’s The Silver Tassie at ENO, he earned a nomination at the 2000 Olivier Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Opera and won the prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society Award for Singers. He took the lead role of Jaufré Rudel in Kaija Saariaho’s L’amour de loin for the much-acclaimed premieres in Santa Fe, Paris and Helsinki. In addition, Mr Finley created the role of Mr. Fox in Tobias Picker’s Fantastic Mr. Fox in Los Angeles. At Glyndebourne, his roles have ranged from Figaro to Nick Shadow and Owen Wingrave.

This past season, at the Metropolitan Opera, Mr. Finley reprised his much acclaimed portrayal of J. Robert Oppenheimer in a new production of Doctor Atomic, which then received its UK premiere later in the season with English National Opera. Also with the ENO, he took the role of Captain Balstrode in Peter Grimes. Mr. Finley returned to the Royal Opera House for the role of Frank/Fritz in Korngold’s Die Tote Stadt, and he concluded the season at the Salzburg Festival as Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro.

In 2009-10, Mr Finley will return to the Metropolitan Opera as Marcello in La Boheme and as Don Giovanni in a new production at Glyndebourne. He will also perform Iago with Sir Colin Davies and the London Symphony in concert.

His concert work is equally prestigious, and he has featured in recordings of Haydn, Handel, Brahms and Mozart. In recent seasons, he has premiered new works for Baritone and Large Ensemble written by Mark Anthony Turnage called The Torn Fields and When I Woke (these available on the LPO Live label), as well as a new piece Reflections on L’amour de loin by Saariaho. He is a frequent guest of many orchestras throughout Europe and the US. Recently released are his recordings of Mozart’s Requiem and Handel's Messiah with Nikolaus Harnoncourt for Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, Britten’s War Requiem with the LPO and Kurt Masur for Chandos, and LSO Live’s Beethoven 9th Symphony with Bernard Haitink. His Chandos CD of Stanford’s Songs of the Sea, with Richard Hickox and the National Orchestra of Wales, received the Editor’s Choice Award at 2006 Classic FM Gramophone Awards.

Concert highlights this next season include the BBC Symphony in works by Mahler and Mussorgsky, Brahms Requiem with the Berlin Philharmoniker, Lieberson Songs with the Boston Symphony and Beethoven 9 with Jansons in Munich.

As a recitalist, he works regularly with Julius Drake, appearing throughout Europe and North America, and is a frequent guest at the Wigmore Hall. Recital appearances have included Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, San Francisco and at New York’s Carnegie-Zankel Hall, as well as the prestigious venues in Europe including Vienna, Frankfurt, Helsinki, Amsterdam and London’s Wigmore Hall, where they will return later this season. Great success at the Schwetzingen Festival and the Schubertiade Schwarzenberg for 2009 has confirmed Mr Finley’s reputation as one of the foremost recitalists today.

Mr Finley’s recent CD album of Dichterliebe and other Heine settings by Schumann, has achieved much international critical success including the Best Solo Vocal Recording at the Classic FM Gramophone Awards 2009. His previous releases of Barber and Ives songs, in continuing partnership with Julius Drake on the Hyperion label, have been similarly acclaimed. Songs by Samuel Barber won the Best Solo Vocal Recording category of the 2008 Classic FM Gramophone Awards, and the Charles Ives Songs Romanzo di Central Park was nominated in the same category. In 2006, 2008, and 2009 he was nominated “Artist of the Year”. At the 2008 Canadian Juno Awards he received two nominations in the 'Classical Album of the Year: Vocal or Choral Performance' category, in a nod to his contribution to the CD Schubert Among Friends (Marquis Classics) along with the Songs by Samuel Barber. His disk of Vaughan Williams’ Songs of Travel (CBC Records) with pianist Stephen Ralls won the 1998 Canadian Juno Award.

His latest release on Hyperion Records is a CD of Songs by Ravel. He has also recently released a recording on the Wigmore Live label, the 25th of their series, of songs by Musorgsky, Tchaikovsky and Rorem. Further CD’s include Dido and Aeneas on the Chandos label, released in 2009. In early 2010 Chandos releases a CD of Great Opera Arias in English, performed with the LPO and Edward Gardner.

Film credits include Owen in Channel 4’s film of Britten’s Owen Wingrave, BBC2’s The Holocaust – a Music Memorial film, filmed at Auschwitz in 2004, and In Search of Mozart, by Seventh Art Productions. He also appears in the film Wonders are Many, a film of the making of the opera Doctor Atomic.

Gerald Finley began singing as a chorister in Ottawa, Canada, and completed his musical studies in the UK at the Royal College of Music, King’s College, Cambridge, and the National Opera Studio with the support of the Friends of Covent Garden, the Worshipful Company of Musicians, the Keith B. Poole Scholarship and the Countess of Munster Musical Trust. He was a winner of Glyndebourne’s John Christie Award and is a Visiting Professor and Fellow of the Royal College of Music. 

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