24 May 2024

For the first French production in a century, the critics of Alberic Magnard’s grand opera ‘Guercoeur’, staged at the Opera National du Rhin in Strasbourg, found themselves reaching for superlatives to appraise baritone Stéphane Degout’s tremendous success in the title role.

ARTE Concert presents this remarkable revival as a European wide video-on-demand from 25 May 2024. in a recording from France Musique and BelAir Media. France Musique will relay on 25 May 2024 at 20.00 CET ‘Samedi à l’Opéra’.

Of Degout’s performance, the press writes:

“In the title role, baritone Stéphane Degout is exemplary; he never pushes, always aware that Magnard was also a composer of melodies, and that is how he sings his character: with intelligence, restraint and a real inner fire.” – Transfuge

“If Guercœur had the reputation of being an impossible work, it was also because it required singers who were almost impossible to find. But now they exist! And they even exist in France! We salute the incarnation of Stéphane Degout in the title role with a tessitura requiring solid resources in the treble and flawless expressiveness. The baritone has all the necessary strengths and fully convinces.”  – Laurent Bury, Concert Classic

“One could not imagine a better interpreter of the title role than Stéphane Degout, always so impressive in his mastered power, at the service of a high-class performance, bringing immaculate pronunciation and attention to meaning.” – Florent Coudeyrat, Premiere Loge

“Right in his lyrical zone, Stéphane Degout presents a high-class take on the title role. The French baritone commands admiration through the mastery of breath and expression, the noble incarnation of a deeply loving being whose dreams dissolve under the blows of destiny.” – Marie-Aude Roux, Le Monde

“In the overwhelming role of Guercœur, Stéphane Degout astounds us, once again, with the intensity and magnetism of the incarnation. The lightly buffed shine of the timbre, the breath, the chiselling of the text dig into every corner of the character: candor, doubt, pain, revolt, humility, resignation, appeasement, everything is there…”- François Laurent, Diapason

“In this role, Stéphane Degout is masterful, even superhuman, with his vocal power and his endurance. His sonorous voice, with its amber timbre, embodies the humanity of the hero who suffers intensely, but it also personifies his ethereal spirit and his hope. A very good actor, Degout has looks that seem far away when he is with the goddesses but he expresses distress in a palpable way in II in his interview with Giselle.” – Victoria Okada, Crescendo

“In the title role, baritone Stéphane Degout finds painful accents, a man wounded in the immense love that he imagines he has the right to receive in return for that which he gives. The singer impresses with the length of his breath and a constant search for nobility.” – Emmanuelle Giulaiani, La Croix

“Breathtaking in dramatic intensity” (Forum Opéra), with a voice of “quicksilver agility and virile heft” (Chicago Classical Review), French baritone Stéphane Degout was a graduate of the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Lyon and member of the Atelier Lyrique de l’Opéra de Lyon. Following his debut as Papageno at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, he rose rapidly to wide acclaim on the world’s major operatic stages, alongside forging a celebrated and distinctive career as a recitalist and concert singer renowned for the finesse and sensitivity he conveys in his interpretations of French melodie, German lied, and with a strong profile across baroque, Classical and Romantic repertoire.

During the 2023/24 season, Stéphane Degout returns to the Grand Théâtre de Genève for Don Carlos, Opéra Comique for L’autre voyage, a project built around Schubert’s lyrical works with regular collaborators Raphaël Pichon and the Ensemble Pygmalion, and the Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse for the title role in Eugen Onegin. On the concert stage he rejoins the Orchestre de Paris, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre du Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie and the Gulbenkian Orchestra, in repertoire including Mendelssohn’s Elias, Zemlinsky’s Lyric Symphony, Ambroise Thomas’s Hamlet, and Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen, and return to the role of the King in George Benjamin’s Lessons in Love and Violence, which he premiered at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden.