Canadian bass-baritone, Gerald Finley has today been invested as a Commander of the Order of the British Empire at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace.
A leading singer and dramatic interpreter of his generation, Mr Finley is famous for his many acclaimed performances on the world’s major opera and concert stages and for his award-winning recordings on CD and DVD across a broad range of repertoire. He is also passionately committed to both music education and charity work, climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro for Help Musicians UK. Mr Finley’s career is devoted to the wide range of vocal art and he regularly collaborates with the greatest orchestras and conductors of our time.
Hailing from Montreal, Canada, Mr Finley was originally on course to become a vet before turning to choral music studies in Ottawa, Canada and at the Royal College of Music and Kings College, Cambridge in the UK before the professional opera stage beckoned. His initial experience at Glyndebourne provided a perfect grounding so that he is as at home in the works of Mozart, Rossini, Verdi and Wagner as he is in the contemporary world of modern-day composers such as Adams, Saariaho and Turnage.
He recently appeared as King Lear in a new production at the Salzburg Festival and made his role debut as Scarpia in Puccini’s ‘Tosca’ at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. He will perform in this season’s Last Night of the BBC Proms.
In 2014, he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada and was recently featured on a Canada Post stamp celebrating Canadian Opera and #Canada150.
Commented Mr Finley: “This is a huge honour and one for which I am deeply grateful. My fervent wish is to continue to share with the world the joy and wonder of music that already exists and of music that is yet to come, and that singing is as important a craft and art today as it ever has been. My hope is that the true art of singing, with beauty of voice and artful accomplishment, will continue to impact live audiences and will encourage audiences to share in the direct live encounter, to help soothe, uplift and guide us through unpredictable and difficult times in our personal and social environments.”