BiographyThis Canadian baritone has become one of the leading singers and dramatic interpreters of his generation, recording with major labels and performing at the major opera and concert venues in a wide variety of repertoire, all to critical acclaim. His relationship with leading conductors including Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Sir Simon Rattle, Sir Roger Norrington and Antonio Pappano has been part of a flourishing career.
In opera, his work has been founded on the leading Mozart baritone roles (Don Giovanni, Count, Figaro, Papageno, Guglielmo), Händel (Argante, Achilles, Garibaldo) and the involvement in major new works for the stage. He has successfully created the leading roles in recent world premieres including Mark Anthony Turnage’s The Silver Tassie (as Harry Heegan) at English National Opera for which he was nominated for the 2000 Oliver Award for Outstanding Achievement in Opera and for which he won the 2000 Royal Philharmonic Society Award for Singers. He created the title role in Fantastic Mr. Fox at L. A. Opera and most recently, with San Francisco Opera, created the role of J. Robert Oppenheimer in John Adams' Doctor Atomic. He has also performed and recorded the title role in Vaughan Williams’ Pilgrim’s Progress with the Royal Opera Covent Garden, and in 2001 completed the title role in a film version of Britten’s Owen Wingrave, a role he first sang at the Glyndebourne Festival in 1997.
At the Royal Opera Covent Garden further roles include Count, Figaro, Don Giovanni, Creonte in Haydn’s L’anima del filosofo, the Forester in The Cunning Little Vixen and Germont in La Traviata. His close association with Glyndebourne, where he has performed since 1986, includes appearances as Papageno, Figaro, Guglielmo, Nick Shadow and Agamemnon in Iphigenie en Aulide. At the Metropolitan Opera New York, he has sung Papageno, Marcello and most recently the title role in Don Giovanni. Appearances at l’Opera de Paris include Don Giovanni, Count, Figaro, Papageno, Valentin, Sharpless and Olivier in Strauss’ Capriccio. In Chicago at the Lyric Opera, his Papageno was an outstanding success, as was his recent debut in the title role of Eugene Onegin at English National Opera. He made his Salzburg debut as Guglielmo, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle.
His concert work is equally prestigious, and he has featured in recordings of Haydn, Schumann, Brahms and Mozart. He is a frequent guest of many orchestras throughout Europe and he continues his work from Bach, Haydn and Handel to Britten, Stravinsky and Webern. His relationship with the Berlin Philharmonic includes performances of Beethoven and Mozart. As a recitalist, he works regularly with Julius Drake, appearing throughout Europe and North America, and is a frequent guest at the Wigmore Hall. He has recorded a number of song discs in the Hyperion Schubert series with Graham Johnson, including An 1827 Schubertiade. His solo disc entitled A Song - For Anything, a collection of songs by Charles Ives, has recently been released by Hyperion Records to great critical acclaim. On CBC records his disc Songs of Travel won the 1998 Canadian Juno Award for best Classical Album and he has also released the complete songs of Henri Duparc. Also recently released are his recordings of Mozart’s Requiem and Handel's Messiah with Nikolaus Harnoncourt for Deutsche Harmonia Mundi.
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 Countesss of Munster Musical Trust, and was the winner of Glyndebourne’s John Christie Award.