Stéphane Degout

Baritone

Biography

‘Gifted with a voice possessing intense colour, infused with an immeasurable love of words’ (Cadence Magazine), baritone Stéphane Degout continues to gain recognition for his versatile performance across the operatic, concert and recital stage.

A graduate of the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Lyon and member of the Atelier Lyrique de l’Opéra de Lyon, Stéphane Degout quickly came to international attention in his debut as Papageno at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence. Since then, he has appeared on the world’s major operatic stages, namely the Opera de Paris, Berlin Staatsoper, la Monnaie, Theater an der Wien, Royal Opera House, Lyric Opera Chicago, Metropolitan Opera, the Teatro all Scala, and the Bayerische Staatsoper. His numerous festival appearances include Salzburg, Glyndebourne, Aix-en-Provence and Edinburgh.

Notable roles have included Oreste (Iphigénie en Tauride), Wolfram (Tannhaüser), Raimbaud (Comte Ory), Thésée (Hippolyte & Aricie), Dandini (Cenerentola), Mercutio, Guglielmo (Cosi fan tutte) le Comte Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro), which he sang most recently in a new production at Nederlandse Opera, and the title roles in Thomas’ Hamlet and Monteverdi’s Orfeo or Conti’s Don Chisciotte. His natural affiliation with Debussy’s Pelléas has proven him to be one of the leading interpreters of this role.

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Reviews

“Sur un plan musical, sa performance (Pelléas) est tout simplement époustouflante d’intensité dramatique, de bout en bout. La voix au timbre de plus en plus riche domine toutes les difficultés du rôle; la diction est parfaite, on comprend chaque mot (preuve que, oui, c’est possible !) et chaque mot est investi. Une magistrale leçon de chant français !
[Musically, his performance (as Pelléas) is simply breathtaking in dramatic intensity, from the beginning to the end. His voice, which has a timbre that becomes richer and richer with time, dominates all of the role’s difficulties. His diction is perfect; one understands every word (proof that it is indeed possible!) and each word fully incarnates its meaning. It is an exemplary lesson in French singing!]

Claude Jottrand

Forum Opéra

“Un allemand incisif, explicite, sans affectation d’ailleurs, sans rien de souligné ni d’emphatique. Le texte seulement avec, là où il faut, cet éclairement subit, ce sens intuitif d’une sorte de modulation d’âme… – Stéphane Degout au sommet”

André Tubeuf

L'oeil et l'oreille

More Reviews

“Sur un plan musical, sa performance (Pelléas) est tout simplement époustouflante d’intensité dramatique, de bout en bout. La voix au timbre de plus en plus riche domine toutes les difficultés du rôle; la diction est parfaite, on comprend chaque mot (preuve que, oui, c’est possible !) et chaque mot est investi. Une magistrale leçon de chant français.
[Musically, his performance (as Pelléas) is simply breathtaking in dramatic intensity, from the beginning to the end. His voice, which has a timbre that becomes richer and richer with time, dominates all of the role’s difficulties. His diction is perfect; one understands every word (proof that it is indeed possible!) and each word fully incarnates its meaning. It is an exemplary lesson in French singing!]

Claude Jottrand, Forum Opéra

“Un allemand incisif, explicite, sans affectation d’ailleurs, sans rien de souligné ni d’emphatique. Le texte seulement avec, là où il faut, cet éclairement subit, ce sens intuitif d’une sorte de modulation d’âme… – Stéphane Degout au sommet”

André Tubeuf, L’oeil et l’oreille

“A particularly fine performance from Stéphane Degout as the Count : Degout, a wonderfully patrician singer with a handsome, ringing tone, has an innate charm that can turn to menace in a flash: it’s a superbly accomplished characterisation. ”

Tim Ashley, The Guardian

“Stephane Degout, a memorable Papageno in Lyric Opera’s Magic Flute of 2011-12, proved equally inspired as the strange and doomed Pelleas. In addition to his idiomatic singing, the French baritone brought quicksilver agility and virile heft to a character that can often seem weak and effete. Degout was at his finest in the love scenes with Carlstedt’s Melisande, delivering ardent and impassioned vocalism.”

Lawrence A. Johnson, The Chicago Classical Review

“At the Palais Garnier, the visual treat is also a vocal delight. Baritone Stéphane Degout, in beautiful voice, is magisterial as Theseus.”

Judy Fayard, The Wall Street Journal

“Avec Stéphane Degout, Thésée reçoit une incarnation exemplaire […] Les inflexions presque rocailleuses de la voix, valorisées par une technique qui recherche toujours la luminosité de l’émission, traduisent à la perfection les contrastes qui s’affrontent dans l’âme du héros.
[Stéphane Degout’s portrayal of Thésée is exemplary […] His near-gravely vocal inflexions, highlighted by a technique that always puts forth the brightness of the delivery, translate the contradicting feelings that confront each other in the protagonist’s soul to perfection.]

Gilles Charlassier, Classique Info

“D’autant que la distribution vocale confine à l’excellence, avec au premier chef l’incarnation du rôle-titre par Stéphane Degout. Doté d’un timbre charnu et d’une diction impeccable, le baryton français a gagné en assurance et en profondeur depuis sa prise de rôle alsacienne en juin dernier. Avec ses inflexions rocailleuses qui jalonnent les complexités psychologiques du prince du Danemark, il s’affirme comme l’Hamlet du moment.
[The vocal distribution borders on excellence, starting with Stéphane Degout’s performance in the title-role. The French baritone who has a rich timbre and impeccable diction has become more confident and has gained depth since his Alsatian début last June. With his gravely inflections that mirror the Danish prince’s psychological complexities, he became today’s best Hamlet.]

Gilles Charlassier, Concert Classic

“In the title role, Stéphane Degout draws on an impeccable technique to fulfill the score’s demands, and shape the finest of pianissimi through effortless fortissimi with his burnish lyric baritone. He is truly in the line of his great compatriot predecessors […] His tormented portrayal is almost omnipresent on stage throughout the evening.”

Moore Parker, The Opera Critic

“Degout matched her with a baritonally rock-solid Papageno who threw himself into his singing and clowning with elegant gusto.”

John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune

“The French baritone comes through with lush golden tones and gives a hoot of a comic portrayal. ”

Betty Mohr, Southtown Star

“It’s a testament to the artistry of Cabell and Castronovo that they managed to hold their own against Stephane Degout’s knockout Lyric debut as Papageno. The French baritone possesses a robust voice, easily able to handle the demands of the score. In a signature role, Degout delivered a larger-then-life performance as the earthy bird-catcher — genuinely funny without ever going over the top, and handling the staging’s daunting demands with physical grace and unflagging energy. As with Castronovo, this is a singer we need to have back soon.”

Lawrence A. Johnson, The Classical Review

“Une présence scénique rare chez un chanteur d’opéra Pour s’attacher cet artiste salué pour sa voix au timbre cuivré, la souplesse de ses phrasés, une ligne de chant solide et d’une remarquable intelligence musicale doublée d’une présence scénique rare chez les chanteurs d’opéra, il faut anticiper.”

Antonio Mafra, Le Progrès

“Stéphane Degout, baryton d’une rare élégance, tant sur le plan de la ligne que du timbre”

Judith Chaine, Télérama, Sortir Paris

“Stéphane Degout affiche une santé vocale plus éblouissante que jamais, avec une insolence de la projection, une homogénéité sur toute la longeur du registre et une tenue de ligne absolument remarquables. ”

Thierry Guyenne, Opéra Magazine

“Tyrannising everyone within the blighted walls of his castle, the sadistic Count’s only redeeming quality was Stéphane Degout’s consistently fantastic singing. His coffee-coloured baritone percolating with menace, Degout drew a disturbing portrait of a man with too much power, no purpose and no self-control. He minted gold in his big scene “Hai già vinta la causa!” and was silver-tongued in the recitatives, which were deftly punctuated by fortepiano and cello.”

Jenny Camilleri, bachtrack

“Stéphane Degout (frémissant de vérité dans ce rôle qu’il chantait, samedi soir, pour la cinquantième fois, avec ce timbre en clair-obscur que l’on apprécie tant chez lui).
Stéphane Degout wholeheartedly incarnates the role which he sang on Saturday night for the fiftieth time, with the colourful timbre which he is famous for.

Sophie Bourdais, Télérama

“Stéphane Degout est quant à lui le Pelléas de sa génération, vocalement souverain sur toute la tessiture.
Stéphane Degout is the Pelléas of his generation, displaying vocal perfection throughout the whole tessitura.

Laurent Bury, Forum Opéra

“Stéphane Degout projects a high baritone to show again that he is surely today’s leading Pelléas.”

John Allison, The Telegraph