Gerald Finley

Bass-baritone

Grammy Award-winning Canadian bass-baritone Gerald Finley is one of the most revered and influential artists of our time, with celebrated performances at the world’s major opera and concert venues and recordings on CD and DVD with major labels in a wide variety of repertoire. His extensive career is devoted to the complete spectrum of vocal art, encompassing operatic, orchestral and song repertoire, collaborating with the greatest composers, orchestras and conductors.

His career initially focussed on the music of Mozart; his Don Giovanni and Count Le nozze di Figaro have been heard live and broadcast throughout the world. His expanding repertoire soon encompassed major Wagner and Verdi repertoire as well roles including Bluebeard, Guillaume Tell, J. Robert Oppenheimer in John Adams’ Dr. Atomic, and Jaufré Rudel in Saariaho’s L’amour de loin. He created Harry Heegan in Mark Anthony Turnage’s The Silver Tassie.

The 2023/24 season highlights include Hans Sachs in Laurent Pelly’s new production of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg in Madrid; the European premiere of Adams’ Antony and Cleopatra at the Liceu in Barcelona; and returns to Bayerische Staatsoper as Amfortas and the Royal Opera House as Don Alfonso. In concert, he performs Brahms Ein Deutsches Requiem with the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia; Mendelssohn Elijah with London Symphony Orchestra and Sir Antonio Pappano and Bluebeard Bluebeard’s Castle at the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, the Oslo Philharmonic and San Francisco Symphony; as well as a recital tour with Julius Drake in London, Strasbourg, Vienna, Madrid, Luxembourg and Valencia.

Most recent engagements saw Finley as Antony in the world premiere of John Adams’ Antony and Cleopatra at San Francisco Opera; Scarpia Tosca and Count in Netia Jones’ new production of Le nozze di Figaro at the Opéra national de Paris; his debut as the title role in Der fliegende Holländer at Staatsoper Berlin; Wolfram Tannhäuser in critically acclaimed performances at the Royal Opera House; Iago in a new production of Otello at the Bayerische Staatsoper and the Canadian Opera Company; the title role in Bluebeard’s Castle and Count Almaviva Le nozze di Figaro at the Metropolitan Opera; Count Almaviva at Bayerische Staatsoper; the title role in Falstaff at the Vienna State Opera and in a new production at the Salzburg Festival; Beethoven Symphony No.9 conducted by Bernard Haitink in Munich and at the Salzburg Festival with Riccardo Muti; the opening gala concert at the Paris Opera with Gustavo Dudamel; Bluebeard’s Castle in a highly acclaimed production at Stone Nest in London and in Toronto with Against the Grain Theatre; and with l’Orchestre de Paris, the Vienna Symphony and Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra.

Further critical successes have been Hans Sachs at the Glyndebourne Festival and l’Opéra de Paris; Amfortas Parsifal at Royal Opera Covent Garden, in Baden-Baden with the Berliner Philharmoniker and Sir Simon Rattle and the Bavarian State Opera; Wolfram at the Lyric Opera of Chicago; Verdi’s Falstaff at the Canadian Opera (for which he won a DORA Award) and the Salzburg Festival; as a “peerless” Iago Otello with Sir Colin Davis and the LSO (LSO Live) Royal Opera in Japan, and Bavarian State Opera, and Canadian opera; and in the title role in Rossini’s Guillaume Tell with Accademia di Santa Cecilia and Sir Antonio Pappano (EMI) and at the Royal Opera Covent Garden. His other important roles include Scarpia, Golaud, Eugene Onegin and Nick Shadow. In contemporary opera, Finley has excelled in creating leading roles, most notably J. Robert Oppenheimer in John Adams’ Doctor Atomic (New York Met, ENO London, San Francisco, Chicago and Amsterdam); Harry Heegan in Turnage’s The Silver Tassie at ENO; Howard K. Stern in Turnage’s Anna Nicole at Covent Garden; Jaufré Rudel in Kaija Saariaho’s L’amour de loin; and Mr Fox in Tobias Picker’s Fantastic Mr Fox at L.A. Opera. In 2012, the DVD release of Doctor Atomic in which Gerald Finley appeared as J. Robert Oppenheimer was awarded the Grammy for ‘Best Opera Recording’.

Finley’s concert work is a vital part of his flourishing career with recent appearances with the London Symphony Orchestra, the Vienna Philharmonic the London Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Mahler Chamber, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. He was the star of the 2018 Last Night of the Proms and a rediscovered version of Shostakovich’s “English Poets” along with that composer’s orchestral cycle, Michelangelo Sonnets, was recorded by Finley and the Helsinki Philharmonic on the Ondine label and received international critical acclaim. Modern day composers have written extensively for him and include Peter Lieberson (Songs of Love and Sorrow with the Boston Symphony and recorded by Ondine with the Helsinki Radio Orchestra), Mark Anthony Turnage (When I woke with the LPO and Vladimir Jurowski), Huw Watkins, Julian Philips, Kaija Saariaho (True Fire with the L.A. Philharmonic and Gustavo Dudamel), and Einojuhani Rautavaara (Rubáiyát with the Helsinki Philharmonic).

As a celebrated song recitalist, he works regularly with pianist Julius Drake. Their many appearances throughout the world include the Schubertiade, a residency at the Wigmore Hall, New York’s Carnegie-Zankel Hall and lauded appearances at the festivals of Salzburg, Edinburgh, and Tanglewood. He has also performed with Sir Antonio Pappano, Malcolm Martineau, Simon Lepper and Michael McMahon.

Finley’s many solo recital CD releases have been devoted to complete songs of Barber, Britten, Duparc, Ives, Liszt, Ravel and Schumann song cycles Dichterliebe and Liederkreis Op. 24 & 39.  With a continuing partnership with Julius Drake on the Hyperion label, all have been critically acclaimed, including an unprecedented three Gramophone Awards in the Solo Vocal category. Their release of Schubert Winterreise won a Canadian Juno Award in 2015 and last season saw the completion of their Hyperion Schubert trilogy with the release of Die schöne Müllerin.

As part of his dedication to preserving and enhancing the singing tradition, he gives masterclasses throughout the world most recently at the Juilliard School of Music, and continues to work with the Jette Parker Young Artists’ Program at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, the National Opera Studio, and the Lindemann Program at the Met.

Finley was born in Montreal, 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. He is a Fellow and Visiting Professor at the Royal College of Music. In 2014 he climbed Kilimanjaro for the charity Help Musicians UK. In 2017 he was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire and had previously been appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada. Mr Finley also features on a Canadian stamp celebrating Canadians in opera.

Performances

JUNE 26 2024

Don Alfonso, Così fan tutte; Royal Opera House

London, United Kingdom

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JUNE 29 2024

Don Alfonso, Così fan tutte; Royal Opera House

London, United Kingdom

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JULY 2 2024

Don Alfonso, Così fan tutte; Royal Opera House

London, United Kingdom

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JULY 4 2024

Don Alfonso, Così fan tutte; Royal Opera House

London, United Kingdom

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JULY 6 2024

Don Alfonso, Così fan tutte; Royal Opera House

London, United Kingdom

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More Dates

Performances

JUNE 26 2024Don Alfonso, Così fan tutte; Royal Opera HouseLondon, United KingdomBuy Tickets
JUNE 29 2024Don Alfonso, Così fan tutte; Royal Opera HouseLondon, United KingdomBuy Tickets
JULY 2 2024Don Alfonso, Così fan tutte; Royal Opera HouseLondon, United KingdomBuy Tickets
JULY 4 2024Don Alfonso, Così fan tutte; Royal Opera HouseLondon, United KingdomBuy Tickets
JULY 6 2024Don Alfonso, Così fan tutte; Royal Opera HouseLondon, United KingdomBuy Tickets
JULY 10 2024Don Alfonso, Così fan tutte; Royal Opera HouseLondon, United KingdomBuy Tickets
JULY 20 2024Amfortas, Parsifal; Bayerische StaatsoperMünchen, GermanyBuy Tickets
JULY 23 2024Amfortas, Parsifal; Bayerische StaatsoperMünchen, GermanyBuy Tickets
AUGUST 22 2024Title Role, Der fliegende Holländer; Den Norske Opera & BalletOSLO, NorwayBuy Tickets
AUGUST 24 2024Title Role, Der fliegende Holländer; Den Norske Opera & BalletOSLO, NorwayBuy Tickets
SEPTEMBER 6 2024Scarpia, Tosca; Staatsoper unter den LindenBerlin, GermanyBuy Tickets
SEPTEMBER 12 2024Scarpia, Tosca; Staatsoper unter den LindenBerlin, GermanyBuy Tickets
SEPTEMBER 15 2024Scarpia, Tosca; Staatsoper unter den LindenBerlin, GermanyBuy Tickets
SEPTEMBER 19 2024Scarpia, Tosca; Staatsoper unter den LindenBerlin, GermanyBuy Tickets
OCTOBER 15 2024Title Role, Macbeth; Wiener StaatsoperVienna, AustriaBuy Tickets
OCTOBER 17 2024Title Role, Macbeth; Wiener StaatsoperVienna, AustriaBuy Tickets
OCTOBER 21 2024Title Role, Macbeth; Wiener StaatsoperVienna, AustriaBuy Tickets
DECEMBER 14 2024Title role, Macbeth; Bayerische StaatsoperMünchen, GermanyBuy Tickets
DECEMBER 17 2024Title role, Macbeth; Bayerische StaatsoperMünchen, GermanyBuy Tickets
DECEMBER 20 2024Title role, Macbeth; Bayerische StaatsoperMünchen, GermanyBuy Tickets
FEBRUARY 11 2025Helge, Festen; Royal Opera HouseLondon, United KingdomBuy Tickets
FEBRUARY 14 2025Helge, Festen; Royal Opera HouseLondon, United KingdomBuy Tickets
FEBRUARY 19 2025Helge, Festen; Royal Opera HouseLondon, United KingdomBuy Tickets
FEBRUARY 22 2025Helge, Festen; Royal Opera HouseLondon, United KingdomBuy Tickets
FEBRUARY 24 2025Helge, Festen; Royal Opera HouseLondon, United KingdomBuy Tickets
FEBRUARY 27 2025Helge, Festen; Royal Opera HouseLondon, United KingdomBuy Tickets
MARCH 14 2025Dichterliebe; Gran Teatre del LiceuBarcelona, SpainBuy Tickets
MARCH 25 2025Title Role, Der fliegende Holländer; Bayerische StaatsoperMünchen, GermanyBuy Tickets
MARCH 28 2025Title Role, Der fliegende Holländer; Bayerische StaatsoperMünchen, GermanyBuy Tickets
MARCH 31 2025Title Role, Der fliegende Holländer; Bayerische StaatsoperMünchen, GermanyBuy Tickets
MAY 12 2025Antony, Antony and Cleopatra; The Metropolitan OperaNew York, United StatesBuy Tickets
MAY 15 2025Antony, Antony and Cleopatra; The Metropolitan OperaNew York, United StatesBuy Tickets
MAY 20 2025Antony, Antony and Cleopatra; The Metropolitan OperaNew York, United StatesBuy Tickets
MAY 24 2025Antony, Antony and Cleopatra; The Metropolitan OperaNew York, United StatesBuy Tickets
MAY 30 2025Antony, Antony and Cleopatra; The Metropolitan OperaNew York, United StatesBuy Tickets
JUNE 3 2025Antony, Antony and Cleopatra; The Metropolitan OperaNew York, United StatesBuy Tickets
JUNE 7 2025Antony, Antony and Cleopatra; The Metropolitan OperaNew York, United StatesBuy Tickets
JULY 15 2025Recital with Isata Kanneh-MasonMunich, GermanyBuy Tickets
NOVEMBER 5 2025Don Alfonso, Così fan tutte; Teatro alla ScalaMilano MI, ItalyBuy Tickets
NOVEMBER 8 2025Don Alfonso, Così fan tutte; Teatro alla ScalaMilano MI, ItalyBuy Tickets
NOVEMBER 12 2025Don Alfonso, Così fan tutte; Teatro alla ScalaMilano MI, ItalyBuy Tickets
NOVEMBER 15 2025Don Alfonso, Così fan tutte; Teatro alla ScalaMilano MI, ItalyBuy Tickets
NOVEMBER 18 2025Don Alfonso, Così fan tutte; Teatro alla ScalaMilano MI, ItalyBuy Tickets
NOVEMBER 21 2025Don Alfonso, Così fan tutte; Teatro alla ScalaMilano MI, ItalyBuy Tickets
NOVEMBER 23 2025Don Alfonso, Così fan tutte; Teatro alla ScalaMilano MI, ItalyBuy Tickets
NOVEMBER 26 2025Don Alfonso, Così fan tutte; Teatro alla ScalaMilano MI, ItalyBuy Tickets

Press

Mr. Finley has long been recognized as a recitalist of rare versatility, a concert artist of the first rank and an opera singer of distinction in a broad repertory.

The New York Times

If you’d like to see one of the best Iagos of the current generation in action, this production is just the ticket.

Opera Canada

Nobody does musical simplicity and nobility better than baritone Gerald Finley, his King of Scotland the still point around which lovers and villains swirled.

iNews

The remarkable Gerald Finley sounded sinisterly virile and managed to eke every bit out of Bluebeard’s complicated psyche.

Bachtrack

As usual, Finley took everything squarely on the chin, reaching every corner of the auditorium with that reliable dark brown voice, so sturdy and mellifluous. Boiling with bitter fury in Barber’s I Hear an Army, he was equally impressive mulling over Fauré’s moon goddess and sea voyages, or maintaining a straight face in the deliberately maudlin finale to Ives’s Memories.

The Times

The cast is strong, headed by Canadian bass-baritone Gerald Finley’s magnificent ruin of an Antony. Commanding, yet gradually crumbling, he captures the fading grandeur and bitter self-awareness of this once-lauded public figure.

Limelight

Releases

Proud Songsters: English Solo Song
Lieberson: Songs of Love and Sorrow
Janáček: The Cunning Little Vixen
Ives: A Song - For Anything
Turnage: Scherzoid
Bach Cantatas Volume 19
 Britten: War Requiem
Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 in D minor
Stanford: Songs of the Sea
Songs by Samuel Barber
Bach: Christmas Oratorio
 Foulds: A World Requiem
Turnage: Orchestral Works Vol. 2
Ives: Romanzo di Central Park
Wigmore Live: Songs by Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky and Rorem
Schumann: Dichterliebe and other Heine Settings
Purcell: Dido and Aeneas
Ravel: Songs by Ravel
Elgar: The Crown of India
Britten: Songs & Proverbs of William Blake
The Ballad Singer
Robert Schumann: Liederkreis
Händel/Mozart/Mosel: Timotheus oder die Gewalt der Musik
Richard Wagner: Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
Dallapiccola: Il prigioniero
Schubert: Winterreise
Shostakovich: Songs for Bass Voice and Orchestra
Mozart: Requiem in D minor
Fauré Requiem
Liszt: The Complete Songs Volume 3
Sibelius: In the Stream of Life
Schubert: Schwanengesang & Brahms: Vier ernste Gesänge
Adams: Doctor Atomic
Wagner: Parsifal
Glorious Glyndebourne
Britten: Owen Wingrave (2013)
Wagner: Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
Turnage: Anna Nicole
Mozart: Don Giovanni
Adams: Doctor Atomic (2011)
Mozart: Le nozze di Figaro (2008)
Richard Strauss: Capriccio
Kaija Saariaho: L'Amour de loin
Britten: Owen Wingrave
Mozart: Le nozze di Figaro (1999)

MWA