Tower Scene: Pelléas et Mélisande (C. Debussy)
Phillip Addis, baritone
Emily Hamper, piano
“The burnished yet vibrant and agile voice touches all the chords of human emotion… through a path of awareness and responsibility,” says Connessi all’Opera of Phillip Addis’ portrayal of Britten’s Billy Budd, one of the Canadian baritone’s enviable, signature roles. Mr. Addis, known for his “nimble and expressive” sound and “athletic command of the stage” (Twin Cities Arts Reader), is established as one of Canada’s leading performers of opera, concert, and recital repertoire. He is acclaimed internationally for his interpretation of Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, where he sings “an impeccable antagonist”, and is recognized as “the ideal Pelléas of his generation” for his “erotically charged” performances of Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande in Hamburg, Paris, Luxembourg, Cincinnati, Dresden, as well as at the Ruhrtriennale and the BBC Proms. Mr. Addis has performed on the world’s major stages, including l’Opéra national de Paris, LA Opera, the Canadian Opera Company, Semperoper Dresden, and the Hamburgischen Staatsoper, under the distinguished batons of Sir John Eliot Gardiner, James Conlon, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Seiji Ozawa, Kent Nagano, Carlo Rizzi, and more. In late 2022, Mr. Addis will rejoin Orchestre Classique de Québec for Handel’s Messiah.
Mr. Addis’s 2020/21 season began with Laura Kaminsky’s As One, where he sang Hannah Before in a livestreamed production with Orchestre classique de Montréal. In 2021 he was slated to sing in a new production of Pelléas et Mélisande by Renaud Doucet and André Barbe, originally set for 2020 but postponed due to COVID-19, with performances in Parma, Modena, and Piacenza (now postponed until 2023). In the summer of 2021, Mr. Addis joined Festival d'opéra de Québec in their concert L'opéra français en fête and the Stratford Symphony Orchestra singing Pierrot’s Tanzlied. Later in 2021, Mr. Addis will sing Il Conte in two upcoming productions of Le nozze di Figaro at Opéra de Lausanne and the Royal Opera of Versailles and in 2023, he will perform the role of Sharpless in Madama Butterfly with Opéra de Québec.
In recent seasons, Mr. Addis brought Il Conte to Edmonton Opera’s Le nozze di Figaro, and sang the Count in Against the Grain Theatre’s adaptation of Mozart’s staple, Figaro’s Wedding. He sang in back-to-back productions of La Bohème, as Schaunard with the Canadian Opera Company, and as Marcello with Vancouver Opera. In 2018 he made two last-minute step-ins, as Pelléas at Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, and as Billy Budd at Teatro dell’Opera di Roma.
Additional operatic credits include the title role in the world premiere of Pyramus and Thisbe with the Canadian Opera Company, Eugene Onegin at Calgary Opera, Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Edmonton Opera, Papageno in Die Zauberflöte with the COC, Jaufré Rudel in L’amour de loin with the Festival d'Opéra de Québec and the Vlaamse Oper, Mercutio in Roméo et Juliette with Minnesota Opera and Opera Carolina, Lt. Audebert in Silent Night with Opéra de Montréal and Cincinnati Opera, Il Conte in Le nozze di Figaro with the Semperoper Dresden, Vancouver Opera, Pacific Opera Victoria, Opéra de Montréal, and Florida Grand Opera, and as Frère Léon in St. François d’Assise with Yomiuri Nippon Orchestra in Tokyo, which was selected as the best production of 2017 by the vote held by Ongaku-no-Tomo magazine.
Mr. Addis balances his operatic career with extensive concert experience, including the 2019 world premiere of Scott Good’s The Sleepers with London Sinfonia. He was the baritone soloist for Carmina Burana with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Orchestre Symphonique de Trois Rivières, Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, and Britten’s War Requiem with the Cincinnati May Festival, the Britten LA/100 Festival, and the Nashville and Victoria Symphonies.
With a passion for the art song repertoire, Addis has given recitals with pianist, Emily Hamper at the l’Opéra National de Paris, The Brisbane Music Festival, the Orford Arts Centre, the Vancouver International Song Institute, and the Canadian Art Song Project; in 2020, they offered livestream recitals for the Brott Music Festival, Against the Grain Theatre, Stratford Summer Music, and the Stratford Symphony Orchestra. Together, Addis and Hamper are co-Artistic Directors of the Stratford Summer Music Vocal Academy, mentoring and inspiring developing artists with a passion for all facets of the classical vocal discipline.