French-Canadian bass-baritone Philippe Sly has gained international recognition 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, a grand prize winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and was awarded Concert of the Year in Romantic, Post-Romantic and Impressionist Music at the 16th annual ceremony of the Gala des prix Opus.
In 22/23 Philippe Sly debutes at the Opernhaus Zürich for Lakmé (Nilakantha) and at the Bayerische Staatsoper for Semele (Cadmus), and returns to the Wiener Staatsoper for Don Giovanni (Leporello). On the concert stage he appears with the New York Philharmonic for St. Matthew Passion and National Arts Centre (Canada) for Mozart’s Requiem and Mass in C Minor.
Last season he debuted with Opéra de Québec for Don Giovanni (title role), and the Matsumoto Festival in Le Nozze di Figaro (title role) and returned to the Wiener Staatsoper for Le Nozze di Figaro (title role) and Don Giovanni (Leporello). On the concert stage he appeared in St. Matthew Passion with Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and St. John Passion and Mozart Requiem with Les Violons de Roy. In the 20/21 season, he made his debut at the Wiener Staatsoper in Le Nozze di Figaro and returned to Orchestre Métropolitain and Les Violons de Roy for their annual Galas.
Recent performances include the world premiere of Stafylakis’ Into Oblivion with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra; Mozart’s Requiem with Vancouver Symphony; Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Gulbenkian Orchestra (Portugal); Handel’s Messiah with the University Musical Society; and Mozart Mass in C Minor at National Arts Centre (Canada) and the Maison Symphonique de Montreal. Additionally, he returns to the Paris Opera (Garnier) for productions of Don Giovanni and Così fan tutte as well as performances of Schubert’s Winterreise with Le Chimera Project.
In the 2018-2019 season, Philippe returned to the Paris Opera for his first performances in a new production of Don Giovanni (Leporello) conducted by Philippe Jordan. He was heard in Handel’s Messiah with the Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin and with the Handel & Haydn Society conducted by Bernard Labadie. Additional concert engagements included Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass and Mozart’s Requiem with Orchestra of St. Luke’s and Labadie, as well as Bach’s Matthäus-Passion with the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. In recital, he performed Winterreise with pianist Michael McMahon in Montreal, Vancouver, San Francisco, and Santa Fe. He was also seen in special performances with Le Chimera Project of Schubert’s Winterreise arranged for Klezmer quartet.
A native of Ottawa, Philippe Sly frequently appears with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and Kent Nagano. He has been heard with the OSM in Debussy’s Pelléas et Melisande (Golaud), Honegger’s L’Aiglon (recorded for commercial release), Bach’s Johannes-Passion, La Damnation de Faust (Méphistophélès), and Nielsen’s Symphony No. 3, as well as songs of Rachmaninoff, Grieg, and Sibelius. As a soloist with Yannick Nézet-Séguin, he has sung performances of Mozart’s Mass in C Minor and Bach’s Matthäus-Passion, both with the Philadelphia Orchestra, and Bach’s Matthäus-Passion again with Orchestre Métropolitain in Montreal. He is featured in a recording of Le Nozze di Figaro (Antonio) with Nézet-Séguin at the Baden-Baden Festival on Deutsche Grammophon.
Philippe has performed Les Troyens (Narbal) with Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg under John Nelson, which won a Grammy Award (Warner/Erato). He made his Los Angeles Philharmonic debut in Così fan tutte (Guglielmo) under Gustavo Dudamel in a production by Christopher Alden, his Philadelphia Orchestra debut in Fauré’s Requiem conducted by Alain Altinoglu, Minnesota Orchestra debut in Fauré’s Requiem conducted by Bernard Labadie, and Dallas Symphony debut in Bach’s Matthäus-Passion with Jaap van Zweden. Additional concert engagements have included Handel’s Messiah with the Toronto Symphony, Montreal Symphony, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, and at the National Arts Centre; Handel’s Solomon with Bernard Labadie and Les Violons du Roy; concerts of Fauré, Handel, and Haydn with the Orchestre Symphonique de Québec; a concert of arias with the Malaysian Philharmonic; and Mozart’s Requiem and Mozart arias with the Toronto Symphony and Labadie.
On the opera stage, Philippe Sly debuted at the Paris Opera in a new production of Così fan tutte (Guglielmo) conducted by Philippe Jordan, followed by a new Claus Guth’s production of Jephtha (Zebul) conducted by William Christie. He also debuted at Festival d’Aix-en-Provence and Opéra de Lyon as the title role in new productions of Don Giovanni. He debuted at the Hamburg Opera in fully-staged performances of Bach’s Matthäus-Passion in a Romeo Castellucci production which was broadcast across Europe and was seen at Opéra Comique in Boesmann’s Au monde. Philippe Sly was a member of the prestigious Adler Fellowship Program at the San Francisco Opera where he made his mainstage debut in Così fan tutte (Guglielmo) conducted by Nicola Luisotti. He has also been seen in San Francisco in Christopher Alden’s award-winning production of Handel’s Partenope (Ormonte) and the title role in Le Nozze di Figaro. Philippe Sly made his Glyndebourne debut in a new production of Berlioz’s Béatrice et Bénédict (Claudio) directed by Laurent Pelly.
As a recitalist, Philippe Sly toured Canada in recital with the Debut Atlantic Series and was heard at the Toronto Summer Music Festival with pianist Julius Drake, as well as at the Banff Centre and with the Vancouver Coast Recital Society. He frequently collaborates with guitarist John Charles Britton for guitar/voice duo recitals of Schubert, most recently at the Tucson Guitar Society, in Montreal with Fondation Arte Musica / Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal and at the Opéra National du Rhin in Strasbourg. Philippe Sly was a Révélation Radio-Canada artist for the 2012-2013 season.
Philippe Sly holds a Bachelor of Music degree in voice performance from McGill University’s Schulich School of Music in Montreal. After winning the MET National Council Auditions, Mr. Sly became a member of the ensemble at the Canadian Opera Company, followed by the San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program and Adler Fellowship. Philippe Sly’s solo recordings are available on Analekta Records.
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Photo credits – © Mathieu Sly