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Gerald Finley

Bass-Baritone

Biography

Gerald Finley in action.
Gerald Finley in Parsifal, The Royal Opera © ROH/Clive Barda, 2013

Canadian bass-baritone Gerald Finley made his Royal Opera debut in 1989 as Flemish Deputy (Don Carlo), and has gone on to sing roles including Count Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro), Don Giovanni, Forester (The Cunning Little Vixen), Giorgio Germont (La traviata), Golaud (Pelléas et Mélisande), Eugene Onegin, the Lawyer Stern (Anna Nicole, world premiere), Amfortas (Parsifal), the title role in Guillaume Tell, Michonnet (Adriana Lecouvreur) and Scarpia (Tosca). In the 2019/20 Season he sings Iago (Otello) on tour to Japan, Traveller/Elderly Fop/Old Gondolier/Hotel Manager/Guide/Hotel Barber/Leader of the Players (Death in Venice) and Sharpless (Madama Butterfly) with The Royal Opera.

Finley was born in Montreal and began singing as a chorister in Ottawa. He was encouraged by his great uncle William McKie, former organist of Westminster Abbey. He completed his musical studies at King’s College, Cambridge, the Royal College of Music and the National Opera Studio. He performs regularly for the world’s major opera houses and has created a number of roles, including Doctor Oppenheimer (Adams’s Doctor Atomic) and Harry Heegan (Turnage’s The Silver Tassie). In 2012 he sang his first Hans Sachs (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg) for Glyndebourne Festival to great acclaim. In 2017 he made a role debut as the title role in Reimann’s Lear, and in 2019 made his role debut as Bluebeard (Duke Bluebeard’s Castle). He gives regular concerts and recitals, frequently touring Europe and North America with pianist Julius Drake.

Finley has won several awards for his performances on CD and DVD, including a Grammy for Best Opera Recording 2012 (Dr Atomic at the Metropolitan Opera, New York), made many CDs of Lieder and song, and has appeared on films including Channel 4’s Owen Wingrave. He is a Visiting Professor and Fellow of the RCM. He was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2014, and that year climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in support of Help Musicians UK.

Videos

News and features

Watch: How do you play one of opera's greatest villains?

11 February 2018
Watch: How do you play one of opera's greatest villains?

Canadian bass-baritone Gerald Finley reveals how he gets into character, playing Scarpia in Puccini's Tosca.

Watch: The Te Deum from Tosca performed by Gerald Finley

2 February 2018
Watch: The Te Deum from <em>Tosca</em> performed by Gerald Finley

Enjoy a menacing moment from one of opera's most memorable baddies, ahead of Tosca in cinemas on 7 February.

Your Reaction: What did you think of Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur 2017?

8 February 2017
Your Reaction: What did you think of Cilea’s <em>Adriana Lecouvreur</em> 2017?

Your thoughts on David McVicar's sumptuous production of this tragic opera.

Photos

Gerald Finley

Gerald Finley as the Hotel Barber and Mark Padmore as Gustav von Aschenbach in Death in Venice, The Royal Opera

Adriana Lecouvreur, The Royal Opera

Gerald Finley as Michonnet and Hrachuhi Bassenz as Adriana Lecouvreur in Adriana Lecouvreur, The Royal Opera

Gerald Finley in Guillaume Tell

Gerald Finley in Guillaume Tell

Gerald Finley and members of the Royal Opera Chorus in Guillaume Tell

Sofia Fomina as Jemmy and Gerald Finley as William Tell in Guillaume Tell, The Royal Opera

Gerald Finley as Count Almaviva and Guy de Mey as Don Basilio in Le nozze di Figaro, The Royal Opera

Gerald Finley

Simon O'Neill as Parsifal, Gerald Finley as Amfortas, René Pape as Gurnemanz and Angela Denoke as Kundry in Parsifal

Gerald Finley as Amfortas in Parsifal

Gerald Finley as Amfortas in Parsifal

Alan Oke as J.Howard Marshall, Eva-Maria Westbroek as Anna Nicole and Gerald Finley as Stern in Anna Nicole in Anna Nicole

Production photo of Death in Venice, The Royal Opera

Production photo of Death in Venice, The Royal Opera

Gerald Finley as the Gondolier in Death in Venice, The Royal Opera

Gerald Finley and David McVicar in rehearsal for Death in Venice, The Royal Opera

Hrachuhi Bassenz as Adriana Lecouvreur and Gerald Finley as Michonnet in Adriana Lecouvreur, The Royal Opera

Gerald Finley in Guillaume Tell

Gerald Finley and Sofia Fomina in Guillaume Tell

Gerald Finley and Enkelejda Shkosa in Guillaume Tell

Rebecca Evans as Countess Almaviva and Gerald Finley as Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, The Royal Opera

Gerald Finley as Count Almaviva and Camilla Tilling as Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, The Royal Opera

Rebecca Evans as Countess Almaviva and Gerald Finley as Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, The Royal Opera

Gerald Finley as Count Almaviva, Camilla Tilling as Susanna and Artists of the Royal Opera in Le nozze di Figaro, The Royal Opera

Gerald Finley in Parsifal, The Royal Opera

Gerald Finley as Amfortas and Angela Denoke as Kundry in Parsifal

Gerald Finley as Amfortas and Robert Lloyd as Titurel in Parsifal

Eva-Maria Westbroek as Anna Nicole and Gerald Finley as Stern in Anna Nicole, The Royal Opera,

Production photo of Death in Venice, The Royal Opera

Mark Padmore as Gustav von Aschenbach and Gerald Finley as the Elderly Fop in Death in Venice, The Royal Opera

Gerald Finley as the Leader of the Players in Death in Venice, The Royal Opera

Gerald Finley as Hotel Barber and Mark Padmore as Gustav von Aschenbach in rehearsal for Death in Venice, The Royal Opera

Gerald Finley as Leader of the Players in rehearsal for Death in Venice, The Royal Opera

Gerald Finley as Leader of the Players and Mark Padmore as Gustav von Aschenbach in rehearsal for Death in Venice, The Royal Opera