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Gidon Saks

Bass-baritone

  • Praised for his “fierce, emotionally ripe performances” (Financial Times), which offer a “wealth of nuance” (Opera), Gidon Saks is renowned for his interpretations of the dramatic bass-baritone repertoire. His signature roles include Bluebeard, Nick Shadow The Rake’s Progress, Claggart Billy Budd, Kaspar Der Freischütz,Pizarro Fidelio and Hagen Götterdämmerung. He is a regular guest in many of the world’s most prestigious opera houses including Deutsche Oper Berlin, Festival d'Aix-en-Provence, Komische Oper Berlin, Opéra National de Paris, Staatsoper Berlin, Bergen National Opera, and Washington National Opera and Teatro La Fenice.

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  • The 2019/20 season sees Saks returning to Opéra National de Paris where he will reprise the role of King of France in the revival of Calixto Bieto’s production Reimann Lear, and to Teatro La Fenice where he will perform the title role in a new production of Bartòk’s Bluebeard. This autumn Saks performed and recorded Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder with the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Susanna Mälkki.


    Recent highlights include Pangloss in Bernstein’s Candide with Bergen National Opera; John Claggart in multiple productions of Britten Billy Budd , including by David Alden and Annilese Miskimmon; his first Orest in Elektra for Bordeaux, the title role in Robert Carsen’s production of Battistelli’s Richard III for La Fenice (winner of the Abbiati Prize for best production in Italy); the Villains in Offenbach Les contes d’Hoffmann for the Royal Danish Opera; reprising the role of Bottom in Britten A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence in Beijing, and the title role in Bartok Duke Bluebeard’s Castle with Concerto Budapest and András Keller, opposite Petra Lang as Judith.


    Equally in demand on the concert platform, Saks has performed Creon Oedipus Rex and Hermit Der Freischütz with the London Symphony Orchestra (both recorded for LSO Live); King Marke Tristan und Isolde at Festival de Opera de Coruña; König Heinrich Lohengrin with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. He has worked with some of the most distinguished conductors of our time including Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Valery Gergiev, Donald Runnicles, Sir Neville Marriner, Daniel Harding, Sir Andrew Davies and the late Sir Colin Davis.


    Saks can be heard in recording, including Abbot Curlew River (Philips); the Gravedigger in Weill Silbersee (BMG); the title role in Handel Hercules conducted by Minkowski (Deutsche Grammophon); Saul with Rene Jacobs, which won a Gramophone Award. Saks has recorded John Claggart in Britten Billy Budd with the London Symphony Orchestra, which won a Grammy Award for the Best Opera Performance.


    Saks was born in Israel and brought up in South Africa. He trained at the Royal Northern College of Music, University of Toronto and subsequently Zurich Opera Studio. He was a visiting Professor of Voice at the Conservatoire of Ghent in Belgium. Offstage he is a dedicated director/designer and teacher.

    2019-20 season / 459 words. Not to be altered without permission.

Performances

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Season highlights

Title Role in Bluebeard’s Castle
Concerto Budapest


Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Festival d'Aix-en-Provence at the Beijing Music Festival


Claggart in Billy Budd
Bolshoi Theatre of Russia


Villains in Les contes d’Hoffman
Royal Danish Opera

Claggart in Billy Budd
Deutsche Oper Berlin

Roles/repertoire

Bartók
Title role Duke Bluebeard's Castle


Berlioz
Mephisto La Damnation de Faust 


Beethoven
Pizarro Fidelio


Britten
Claggart Billy Budd
Bottom A Midsummer Night's Dream
Traveller / Elderly Fop / Old Gondolier / Hotel Manager / Hotel Barber / Leader of the Players / Voice of Dionysus Death in Venice 


Donizetti
Enrico Anna Bolena 


Gounod
Mephistopholes Faust


Mozart
Title role / Leporello Don Giovanni
Title role / Almaviva La nozze di Figaro
Don Alfonso Così fan tutte
Papageno Die Zauberflöte


Massenet
Title role Don Quichotte


Monteverdi
Seneca L'incoronazione di Poppea 


Mussorgsky
Title role Boris Gudonov


Offenbach
Nemeses Les contes d'Hoffman


Puccini
Scarpia Tosca


Reimann, A
King of France Lear 


Smetana
Kecal The Bartered Bride


Sondheim
Title role Sweeney Todd 


Strauss, R.
Orest Elektra
La Roche Capriccio 


Stravinsky
Nick Shadow The Rake's Progress


Verdi
Filippo Don Carlo
Fiesco Simon Boccanegra
Wurm Luisa Miller
Title role Attila
Title role Falstaff 


Wagner
Fasolt Das Rheingold
Hagen Götterdämmerung
Heinrich der Vogler Lohengrin
Gurnemanz Parsifal
King Marke Tristan und Isolde 


Weber
Kaspar Der Freischütz


Zemlinsky
Gyges Der König Kandaules

The Master-at-Arms was sung by Gidon Saks with a terrifying, pitch-black voice that was nevertheless capable of a wealth of nuance.

Opera

He’s a brilliant artist. He’s a stage animal. He’s naturally theatrical... he showed a mind-boggling range of styles, from full-bore operatic plumminess to idiomatic mastery of American musical genres. He also has good looks, charisma and a rich voice that can buffet you with gravelly thunder but that he can also scale down to a wistful thread ...he showed that he can easily handle the upper register...

Washington Post

Intermusica represents Gidon Saks worldwide

Isla Mundell-Perkins
Artist Manager, Vocal & Opera
+44 20 7608 9915
imundell-perkins@intermusica.co.uk

Charlotte Firth
Assistant Artist Manager, Vocal & Opera
+44 20 7608 9922
cfirth@intermusica.co.uk

If you have any queries, please fill in the form below, and we will be in touch soon

All artists

Clarinet

Mark Simpson

Chansonnier

HK Gruber

Counter-tenor

Tim Mead

Piano accompanist

Roger Vignoles