French-Canadian bass-baritone Philippe Sly is already gaining international notoriety for his “beautiful, blooming tone and magnetic stage presence” (San Francisco Chronicle). Mr. Sly is the first prize winner of the prestigious Concours Musical International de Montréal and a grand prize winner Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions singing the varied repertoire of Mozart, Bach, Handel, Stravinsky and Wagner. Recently, he was awarded Concert of the Year in Romantic, Post-Romantic and Impressionist Music at the 16th annual ceremony of the Prix Opus in Québec.
In the 2017-2018 season, Philippe Sly has returned to the Paris Opera in the new production of Così fan tutte as Guglielmo conducted by Philippe Jordan, the same role that served for his debut the previous season. At the Paris Opera, he will also make his role debut as Zebul in Claus Guth’s new production of Jephtha conducted by William Christie. In concert, he debuts with the Minnesota Orchestra in Fauré’s Requiem and with the Academy of Ancient Music in Bach’s Johannes-Passion, both conducted by Bernard Labadie. Mr. Sly will be heard in a guitar/voice duo recital at the Tucson Guitar Society with guitarist John Charles Britton. With the Montreal Symphony, he sings Nielsen’s Symphony No. 3, as well as songs of Rachmaninoff, Grieg, and Sibelius. He also returns to Opéra de Lyon in a new production of Don Giovanni.
Last season, he was heard in concert as Narbal in Berlioz’s Les Troyens with Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg under John Nelson, which was recorded by Warner/Erato, and in Mozart’s Mass in C minor with Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Philadelphia Orchestra. He debuted with the Dallas Symphony in Bach’s Matthäus-Passion with Jaap van Zweden and returned to Montreal with Fondation Arte Musica / Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal in a duo recital with guitarist John Charles Britton of Schubert Lieder. In the summer of 2017, he made an acclaimed debut at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence as the title role in a new production of Don Giovanni.
He began the 2015 – 2016 season in his hometown of Montreal singing his first performances of Golaud in Debussy’s Pelléas et Melisande with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra under Kent Nagano. He also debuted at the Hamburg Opera in fully-staged performances of Bach’s Matthäus-Passion under Kent Nagano with a production by Romeo Castellucci, which was broadcast across Europe. In the summer of 2016, Mr. Sly made his Glyndebourne debut as Claudio in a new production of Berlioz’s Béatrice et Bénédict directed by Laurent Pelly. He appeared with Bernard Labadie in Mozart’s Requiem and arias with Toronto Symphony, as well as in recital at the Banff Centre and with the Vancouver Coast Recital Society.
In the 2014 – 2015 season, Philippe Sly returned to the San Francisco Opera as Ormonte in Handel’s Partenope and as Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro. He will made his French debut at Opéra Comique in Paris in Boesmann’s Au monde. In concert, he appeared with the Montreal Symphony and Kent Nagano in Honegger’s L’Aiglon which has been commercially released by Decca. He also appeared with the Philadelphia Orchestra in Bach’s Matthäus-Passion under Yannick Nézet-Séguin, as well as the Toronto Symphony, Newfoundland Symphony and Montreal Symphony in Handel’s Messiah. He will also appear as Antonio in Le Nozze di Figaro with Nézet-Séguin at the Baden-Baden Festival which has been recorded for release on Deutsche Grammophon.
Philippe Sly continued as an Adler Fellow at the San Francisco Opera in the 2013 – 2014 season where he was seen as Bartolo in San Francisco Opera’s Barber for Families. He opened the Montreal Symphony Orchestra’s season as Méphistophélès in concert performances of Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faust under Kent Nagano and made his debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic as Guglielmo in Così fan tutte under Gustavo Dudamel in a production by Christopher Alden. In concert, Mr. Sly made his Philadelphia Orchestra debut in Fauré’s Requiem under Alain Altinoglu and with Orchestre Métropolitain in Montreal in Bach’s Matthäus-Passion under Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Additional concert engagements included Handel’s Messiah at the National Arts Centre and with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra; Handel’s Solomon with Bernard Labadie and Violons du Roy; and concerts of Fauré, Handel, and Haydn with Orchestre Symphonique de Québec.
In the 2012 – 2013 season, Mr. Sly became a member of the prestigious Adler Fellowship Program at the San Francisco Opera where he made his mainstage debut as Guglielmo in Così fan tutte under music director Nicola Luisotti to great critical acclaim. On the concert stage, he sang Mozart’s Requiem with Pro Coro Canada in Edmonton, Brahms’s Ein deutsches Requiem with the Ottawa Bach Choir, and Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with the Ottawa Choral Society, among others. In recital, he toured Canada in recital with the Debut Atlantic Series and was heard at the Toronto Summer Music Festival with pianist Julius Drake. Mr. Sly was a Révélation Radio-Canada artist for the 2012-2013 season.
After winning the MET National Council Auditions, Mr. Sly became a member of the ensemble at the Canadian Opera Company in the 2011 – 2012 season where he was seen as Hermann in Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Amantio di Nicolai in a new production of Gianni Schicchi directed by Catherine Malfitano and conducted by Andrew Davis, as well as A Scythian Man in Iphigénie en Tauride alongside the Iphigénie of Susan Graham. In the summer of 2012, Mr. Sly joined the Young Singers Project at the Salzburg Festival where he made his Festival debut as Sithos in von Winter’s Das Labyrinth under the baton of Ivor Bolton. He also sang Bach’s St. John Passion with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra under music director Kent Nagano and was soloist with the Malaysian Philharmonic in Kuala Lumpur in a concert of opera arias. As a recitalist, Mr. Sly performed with the Canadian Chamber Players in Ottawa and performed in recital in Montreal, Paris, London, and The Hague.
Mr. Sly holds a Bachelor of Music degree in voice performance from McGill University’s Schulich School of Music in Montreal. He is also an alumnus of San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program where he performed the role of Dr. Bartolo in Il Barbiere di Siviglia. His roles at McGill University include Marcello in La Bohème and Nick Shadow in The Rake’s Progress. A recording artist with Analekta Records, his first solo album entitled “In Dreams” was released in October 2012 to great critical acclaim, followed by an all-Rameau album entitled “Les amants trahis” and “Love’s Minstrels: English Songs from the 19th and 20th Centuries.”
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