Tenor Hugues Saint-Gelais is distinguished by his warm tone, his sensitive musicality and his talent as a comedian. Among the next engagements of Hugues Saint-Gelais in 2020, he will play Dr. Blind at the Opéra de Québec in Johann Strauss's La Chauve Souris. Recognized as one of the best tenors of his generation, Mr. Saint-Gelais has a flourishing and varied career. Endowed with a voice of remarkable flexibility and a recognized musical sensibility, he is as at home in the baroque and classical repertoire as in the French melody and the lied. We have indeed seen it through the versatility of his performances during his numerous piano and small ensemble recitals.
During his career tenor Hugues Saint-Gelais has also sung with several Quebec orchestras, including the Orchestre Métropolitain,the Orchestre Symphonique de Québec, the Violons du Roy, the McGill Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestre des Grands Ballets Canadiens, Sinfonia and many others. Among the most frequently performed works are Haendel's Messiah, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, Carl Orff's Carmina Burana, Mozart's Requiem, Haydn's Creation, and the great works of Johann Sebastian Bach.
On many occasions we have heard him on CBC. At ease in the baroque repertoire and the lied, Monsieur Saint-Gelais is also at the opera. Thus, he participated in more than fifty productions during which his qualities of actor were acclaimed as much by the critic as by the public. In Canada, he has performed with the Opéra de Montréal, Opera Lyra of Ottawa, Opera de Québec, Opera Hamilton, Edmonton Opera, the Orchestre Baroque de Montréal (Alcina de Handel) and Toronto's Opera in Concert, to name only these.
Among the numerous operatic works in which we have heard him are Le nozze di Figaro and The Magic Flute (Mozart), The Tales of Hoffmann (Offenbach), Turandot (Puccini) and Eugene Onegin (Tchaikovski). He also distinguished himself for his interpretation of Pâris in La Belle Hélène (Offenbach). In 2001, Mr. Saint-Gelais was part of the cast during the creation of the work "Manuscrit trouvé à Saragosse" by Jose Evangelista presented by the company Chants Libres and the SMCQ of Montreal.
In 2012, Opera de Colombia from Bogotà invited him to sing in the opera Manon de Massenet. Finally, it was at Lincoln Center in New-York that we once again enjoyed the quality of his play in the title role of Barbe bleue. More generally, tenor Hugues Saint-Gelais also performed with LesGrands Ballets Canadiens in Stravinsky's Les Noces and Carmina Burana by Carl Orff. Note also his performance in "Renard" by Stravinsky with the musicians of the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal under the direction of Maestro Charles Dutoit. In February 2019, he was invited to sing in the Requiem for Mathieu by the composer Pierrette Froment-Savoie. Finally, last August, we were able to appreciate his great sensitivity during his performance of E lucevan le stelle of Puccini's opera Tosca at the Fernand Lindsay amphitheâtre with La Sinfonia, under the direction of Stéphane Laforest.
Born in Jonquière, tenor Hugues Saint-Gelais earned a master's degree in singing and a bachelor's degree in classical guitar at Université Laval de Québec. He then did an internship in baroque music in the United States and took part in masterclasses with tenor Paul Elliott and soprano Julianne Baird. A Canada Council Fellow, he will also improve on the performance of the Lieder in Stuttgart, Germany, with pianist Karl Kammerlander and baritone Rolland Hermann.