English Biography

One of the most commanding and exciting singers of his generation, French-Canadian bass Alain Coulombe has been enjoying a thirty-year international singing career. He has collaborated with outstanding conductors such as Seiji Ozawa, Kent Nagano, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Richard Bradshaw, Helmut Rilling, Bernard Labadie, Alain Altinoglu, Ingo Metzmacher and Richard Bonynge.

Highlights from recent opera seasons include Il Commendatore in Don Giovanni at the Salzburg Festival, Der Doktor in Wozzeck and Archangel Uriel in the world premiere of CO2 at Il Teatro alla Scala, Clark Gable in the world premiere of Waiting for Miss Monroe, The Director of the Casino in The Gambler and Geronte di Ravoir in Manon Lescaut at the Dutch National Opera, as well as Bishop Taché in Louis Riel at the Canadian Opera Company, le Festival d’Opéra de Québec and the National Arts Centre. He was also Oroveso in Norma, Frère Laurentin Roméo et Juliette and Ramfisin Aida with the Calgary Opera, Merlinin Kopernikus and Arkel in Pelléas et Mélisande with Against the Grain Theatre, Il Commendatorein Don Giovanni and Frère Laurent in Roméo et Juliette at l’Opéra de Montréal, as well as Timurin the Vancouver Opera production of Turandot.

Recently in concert, he was the bass soloist in Verdi’s Requiem with l’Orchestre symphonique de Trois-Rivières and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, as well as in Mozart’s Requiem with the Thirteen Strings Chamber Orchestra at the Festival Music And Beyond in Ottawa.Additional recent concert credits include Zuniga in Carmen with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, The Gravediggerin Schumann’s Der Rose Pilgerfahrt Op.112 with Le Festival de Musique de Lanaudière and Le Père de Famillein Berlioz’s L’Enfance du Christ with the National Orchestra of Spain, Pax Christi Chorale, the Boston Symphony and the Dresdner Philarmonie.

On DVD, he is Phinée in the EuroArts production of Lully’s Persée and Masettoin the film Don Giovanni Unmasked by Rhombus Media. On disc, he is Clark Gable in Robin de Raaff’s Waiting for Miss Monroe for Challenge Classics, Sam Jarvis Senior in Harry Somers’ Serinette, and the bass soloist in Somers’ The Death of Enkidu and Chura Churum for Centrediscs Records.

Since March 2020, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Alain’s upcoming performances have all been cancelled, including a return to the Canadian Opera Company as Dikoy in Janáček’s Katya Kabanova and as Zuniga in Carmen, his Toronto Symphony Orchestra Debut as Sparafucilein Rigoletto, Dvořák’s Stabat Mater with Le Choeur Classique de Montréal and Sir Paul McCartney’s Liverpool Oratorio with l’Orchestre Classique de Montréal.

Following two public Masterclasses that he gave at the Voice Faculty of the University of Toronto last year, bass Alain was invited to UofT as Guest Music Instructor during the winter 2020 semester. Although the semester came to an abrupt stop in mid-March because of the lockdown, he truly enjoyed his new role as voice teacher and mentor to a very talented new generation of classical singers. He’s scheduled to return to UofT on January 12, 2021 to give a livestream online Master Class.

December 2020

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Featured Photo: DON GIOVANNI, Salzburg Festival 2016, with Ildebrando D’Archangelo