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.
"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, November 2020
The remarkable Gerard Finley sounded sinisterly virile and managed to eke every bit out of Bluebeard’s complicated psyche.
Bachtrack, January 2019
"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, September 2020
"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. He’s also on staggering vocal form, investing every word with intelligence and emotional veracity. His way of delivering even a simple phrase, such as “love, my love”, plumbs depths few can match. Experience in lieder and song sets him in good stead when it comes to wrangling Shakespeare’s complex pentameters, but it’s backed by a seemingly limitless supply of rich, muscular tone: dark and authoritative, yet shot through with a focused, lyrical warmth."
Limelight, September 2022
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 gala concert with Aalborg Symphony Orchestra and 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 Tellwith 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.
Season 2023/24. Not to be published or altered without consent. For the latest biography or photo materials please contact us.