One of Canada’s fastest rising opera stars, baritone Phillip Addis, makes his double debut Monday, June 14, in the title role of Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande and his Paris debut at the legendary Opéra Comique where the work had its premiere more than 100 years ago, on April 30, 1902.
How exciting that must be for an opera singer to perform at the world-renowned Opéra Comique! Addis speaks to the sense of history he felt preparing for such a famous role in the acoustically live atmosphere where Debussy’s work was heard for the first time:
I have been preparing this role for many months but it wasn’t until I arrived in Paris and began rehearsals that I felt the weight of history of this incredible opera. To be standing on the stage where it was first premiered over 100 years ago is magical, daunting and exciting.”
Praised for his creamy, bright voice as much as for his daring, yet sensitive interpretations, Phillip Addis has performed in opera, concerts and recitals throughout Canada, the United States, Europe and Japan.
His vocal quality is both creamy and dreamy. Listen to his rendition of La Ballade de la Reine Mab from Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette:
La Ballade de la Reine Mab [MP3 2.5 MB, 2:44]
Isn’t his baritone voice smooth– ideal for French repertoire!
Addis looks forward to another major debut in the 2010-2011 season when he takes on the title role of Massenet’s Werther mounted by L’Opéra de Montréal in the rarely performed baritone version.
Interestingly, he is equally comfortable tackling the challenges of contemporary roles as he is in singing standard opera repertoire. In September 2010, he sings the role of Jaufre Rudel in Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho’s L’Amour de loin at the De Vlaamse Opera in Antwerp in the Fall.
This past season included a number of firsts for Addis, among them, his New York debut as Roderick Usher in Debussy’s The Fall of the House of Usher with Opéra Français de New York, his first performances as Belcore in Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore with Atlanta Opera, and his role debut as John Brooke in the Canadian premiere of Mark Adamo’s Little Women with Calgary Opera.