One of the most commanding and exciting singers of his generation, admired for his musical and dramatic versatility, French-Canadian bass Alain Coulombe is a favourite of international critics and audiences alike. In a career spanning over 25 years, he has collaborated with outstanding conductors such as Seiji Ozawa, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Helmut Rilling, Richard Bradshaw, Kent Nagano, Bernard Labadie, Mark Albrecht, Edoardo Muller, Alain Altinoglu, Ingo Metzmacher and Richard Bonynge.
During season 2016/17, he made his debut at the Salzburg Festival as Il Commendatore in DON GIOVANNI. He then returned to the Dutch National Opera as Geronte di Ravoir in MANON LESCAUT, performances which were followed by Il Commendatore in DON GIOVANNI with l’Opéra de Montréal. He will conclude the current season singing the role of Bishop Alexandre-Antonin Taché in Harry Somers’ opera LOUIS RIEL at the Canadian Opera Company, the National Arts Centre and the Festival d’Opéra de Québec.
Nest season, Alain will be Timur in TURANDOT with Vancouver Opera, Frère Laurent in Gounod’s ROMÉO ET JULIETTE with l’Opéra de Montréal, as well as the bass soloist in Verdi’s MESSA DA REQUIEM with l’Orchestre symphonique de Trois-Rivières.
During season 2015/16, he made his debut at Il Teatro alla Scala, where he created the roles of Archangel Uriel and Third Man in the World Premiere of Giorgio Battistelli’s CO2. He then returned to La Scala to sing Der Doktor in WOZZECK and completed the season by performing Zuniga in CARMEN at the Canadian Opera Company, Sarastro in THE MAGIC FLUTE with the Sudbury Symphony Orchestra and Le Père de Famille in Berlioz’s L’ENFANCE DU CHRIST with Pax Christi Chorale.
Highlights of his 2014/15 season include the roles of The French General in Kevin Puts’ SILENT NIGHT with the Calgary Opera, An Old Hebrew in SAMSON ET DALILA with l’Opéra de Montréal, as well as Zuniga in CARMEN with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and The Gravedigger in Schumann’s DER ROSE PILGERFAHRT Op.112 with Le Festival de Musique de Lanaudière.
Season 2013/14 included a comeback to the Netherlands Opera as the Director of the Casino in Prokofiev’s THE GAMBLER; he also sang Thésée in Rameau’s HIPPOLYTE ET ARICIE with VOICEBOX : Opera in Concert and the Aradia Ensemble, Banquo in Verdi’s MACBETH with l’Opéra de Québec and Arkel in Debussy’s PELLÉAS ET MÉLISANDE with Against the Grain Theatre.
Season 2012/13 included the roles of Zuniga in Bizet’s CARMEN with Opera Lyra Ottawa, Banco in Verdi’s MACBETH with the Pacific Opera Victoria, Palémon in Massenet’s THAÏS with VOICEBOX : Opera In Concert, George Benton in Jake Heggie’s DEAD MAN WALKING and le Comte des Grieux in Massenet’s MANON with l’Opéra de Montréal.
During the 2011/12 season, Alain took part in two World Premieres: he was First World War hero Lieutenant Gordon Muriel Flowerdew, in the opera MARY’S WEDDING by Andrew MacDonald and Stephen Massicotte (Pacific Opera Victoria) and he made his European opera debut personifying the legendary Clark Gable, in Robin de Raaff’s WAITING FOR MISS MONROE for the Netherlands Opera. Mr.Coulombe was also Count Ceprano and the cover for the role of Sparafucile in RIGOLETTO (Canadian Opera Company), as well as Don Fernando in FIDELIO (Edmonton Opera). On the concert stage, he was Marcel in the Canadian Premiere of LES HUGUENOTS (Toronto Opera In Concert), and was guest soloist at l’Opéra de Montréal’s OPERA GALA, in Mozart’s REQUIEM with l’Orchestre Symphonique de Québec, and with the National Orchestra of Spain in L’ENFANCE DU CHRIST by Berlioz.
Alain’s 2010/11 opera calendar included two productions of AIDA; he was the King of Egypt (Canadian Opera Company) as well as Ramfis (Calgary Opera Association). He was also Sparafucile in RIGOLETTO (Michigan Opera Theatre), Le Bailli in WERTHER (Opéra de Montréal), as well as bass soloist in Verdi’s REQUIEM (Vancouver Symphony).
During the 2009/10 season, he was Oroveso in NORMA (Vancouver Opera), Le Comte des Grieux in MANON (Ottawa Opera Lyra), Il Commendatore in DON GIOVANNI (Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal), Zuniga in CARMEN (Canadian Opera Company, Manitoba Opera, Vancouver Opera), as well as Montano in OTELLO (Canadian Opera Company). On the concert stage, he performed at the Vancouver Opera’s 50th Anniversary Gala, as bass soloist in Beethoven’s NINTH SYMPHONY (Orchestre Symphonique de l’Estuaire), as well as in Mozart’s REQUIEM (Pasadena Symphony).
In recent years, he marked more acclaimed performances in the roles of Sarastro in THE MAGIC FLUTE, Count Ilya Rostov in WAR AND PEACE and The Priest in LADY MACBETH OF MTSENSK (Canadian Opera Company), Raimondo in LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR (Cincinnati Opera, Opéra de Montréal), Collatinus in THE RAPE OF LUCRETIA (Opéra de Montréal, Pacific Opera Victoria) and Sparafucile in RIGOLETTO (Pacific Opera Victoria). He was also Oroveso in NORMA (Pacific Opera Victoria), Seneca in L’INCORONAZIONE DI POPPEA (Cleveland Opera, Toronto Opera Atelier, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra), Lignière in the World Premiere of David DiChiera’s CYRANO (Michigan Opera Theatre), Colline in LA BOHÈME (Edmonton Opera, Opéra de Québec), Créon in Charpentier’s MÉDÉE and Hidraot in Lully’s ARMIDE (Toronto Opera Atelier, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra).
In recent years, on the concert stage, Mr.Coulombe was Tiresias in OEDIPUS REX (Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal), Pater profundus in Mahler’s EIGHTH SYMPHONY (Brott Music Festival), Nourabad in LES PÊCHEURS DE PERLES and Arkel in PELLÉAS ET MÉLISANDE (MusicFest Vancouver, Vancouver Opera), as well as Le Roi de Trèfles in L’AMOUR DES TROIS ORANGES (Toronto Opera In Concert). He was also bass soloist in Christos Hatzis’ KYRIE (CBC radio), Schubert’s A FLAT MASS (CBC radio, CBC orchestra, MusicFest Vancouver), Vivaldi’s DIXIT DOMINUS (National Ballet of Canada) and in Mozart’s REQUIEM (Elora Festival, Orchestra London, Symphony Orchestras of Windsor, Thunder Bay, Victoria and Edmonton).
Having sung Phinée in the live DVD production of Lully’s PERSÉE under EuroArts (Toronto Opera Atelier, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra) and performed in Berlioz’s L’ENFANCE DU CHRIST (Boston Symphony, Dresdner Philharmonie), Alain appeared as Leporello alongside Dmitri Hvorostovsky’s Don Giovanni in concert (George Weston Recital Hall), and was featured as Masetto in the Gemini winning Rhombus Media film DON GIOVANNI UNMASKED, again starring Hvorostovsky.
His recording credits include Robin de Raaff`s WAITING FOR MISS MONROE (Challenge Records International), Ravel’s L’ENFANT ET LES SORTILÈGES (Prague Symphony Orchestra, Théâtre Sans Fil), Harry Somers’ SERINETTE, CHURA CHURAM and THE DEATH OF ENKIDU (Centrediscs Records), the World Premiere of David DiChiera’s CYRANO (Michigan Opera Theatre), the soundtrack of Rhombus Media’s movie DON GIOVANNI UNMASKED (CBC Records), as well as numerous live radio broadcasts of opera performances and concerts across North America and Europe.