Gidon Saks is in demand internationally for his highly acclaimed interpretation of many bass-baritone roles, shining in particular with the Wagner and German repertoire. Over the span of his successful career to date, his signature roles have included Hagen in Götterdämmerung, Kaspar in Der Freischütz, Pizarro in Fidelio, Bluebeard, Nick Shadow in The Rake’s Progress and Claggart in Billy Budd. He has performed at all the major European opera houses: among many others Kaspar in Der Freischütz at the Opéra Comique and the BBC Proms, Fasolt in Das Rheingold and Hagen in Götterdämmerung at La Fenice in Venice, the four incarnations of evil in The Tales of Hoffmann at Covent Garden in London, Scarpia in Tosca at the Bregenz Festival, Henri VIII in Anna Bolena in Cologne, Pizarro in Fidelio in Toronto and at the Berlin Staatsoper, Seneca in the L’Incoronazione di Poppea at La Monnaie in Brussels, the title role in Mefistofele in Amsterdam and Philippe II in Don Carlos in Geneva and Palermo. At the Washington National Opera he has created Fafner in Siegfried, Hunding in Die Walküre, Daland in Der fliegende Holländer and the music master in Ariadne auf Naxos. In May 2014, he made his debut at the Berlin Deutsche Oper in the role of John Claggart in Billy Budd, a role he also interpreted at the Paris Opera and recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra (Grammy Award for the Best Opera Performance). In the 2016/17 season, Saks returned to the role of John Claggart in David Alden’s production at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, and for his house debut at the Bolshoi Opera. He also reprised the role of Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence in Beijing. Equally in demand on the concert platform, Saks has performed Creon in Oedipus Rex and Hermit in Der Freischütz with the London Symphony Orchestra (both recorded for LSO Live). Gidon Saks was born in Israel and brought up in South Africa. He trained at the Royal Northern College of Music, University of Toronto and subsequently Zurich Opera Studio.
Photo Johan Persson