French bass-baritone Paul Gay is known internationally for his portrayals of leading roles in the French repertoire. He collaborates with conductors such as Ivan Fischer, Seiji Ozawa, Michel Plasson, Yannick Nézet–Séguin, Semyon Bychkov, Philippe Jordan, Alain Altinoglu, William Christie, Emmanuelle Haïm and has been invited for new productions by Willy Decker, Luc Bondy, Peter Stein, Richard Jones, Claus Guth, Laurent Pelly, Krzysztof Warlikowski, Robert Carsen….
His principle repertoire includes Golaud (Pelléas et Melisande), a role he has sung at the Paris Opera, at La Monnaie Brussels, in Oslo, Frankfurt, Torino and in Lyon, and Mephisto (Faust), which he has been invited to sing at the Paris Opera, the Maggio Musicale Firenze and at the Bordeaux Opera. Other signature roles include Saint François, which he debuted in a new production at the Bayerische Staatsoper Munich, where he has also appeared in productions of Der Zwerg, I Capuletti e i Montecchi, L’enfant et les sortilèges.
Paul is a regular guest at the Paris Opera where his roles have included Don Fernando (Fidelio), Harasta (The Cunning Little Vixen), Achilla (Giulio Cesare), Don Diègue (Le Cid), Flint (Billy Budd) and Le Comte des Grieux (Manon). He also appears regularly in Brussels, Frankfurt and Lyon and he made his North American debut as Escamillo (Carmen) at the Canadian Opera Company. 2016 also saw him appear as Frère Laurent in Berlioz’s Roméo et Juliette in Amsterdam.
He has taken part in several contemporary creations including ‘L’Ecole des Femmes’ by Rolf Liebermann at the Bordeaux Opera and Philippe Boesmans’ opera, Yvonne Princesse de Bourgogne, a production seen in Paris, Brussels and Vienna.
Having completed his studies, winning a ‘Premier Prix’ at the Paris Conservatory, Paul went on to gain his first operatic experience as a company member in Osnabrück, performing roles such as Colline (la Bohème), a role which he returned to in Barcelona in 2016, Walter (Luisa Miller) and the title role of Don Quichotte. He gained attention as a prize-winner in several international vocal competitions and he continued his vocal development, taking lessons in Cologne with the renowned bass Kurt Moll.
2017/2018 saw his return to the role of Mephisto at Monte Carlo, as well as productions of Aida in Hong Kong, and Les Contes d’Hoffmann at the Dutch National Opera. He appeared at Oviedo Opera in Pelléas et Mélisande and at the Dorset Opera Festival as Don Diegue in Massenet’s Le Cid. He also sang in L’Enfant et les Sortilèges with the Berlin Philharmonic conducted by Seiki Ozawa, for which he received a Grammy Award in 2016 for best opera recording with the same conductor.
The 2018/2019 season will take Paul Gay to Beijing for les Pêcheurs de perles (Nourabad), to Caen for Der Zwerg (Don Estoban) and he will return to the Paris Bastille Opera as Lodovico (Otello) and Le Compte de Saint-Bris (Les Huguenots).