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Gilles Ragon (Tenor)

Born: France

The French tenor and actor, Gilles Ragon, studied singing with Nicolai Gedda and Gary Magby.

Gilles Ragon stated his career in 1984 the early and Baroque music, performing and recording Médée by Marc-Antoine Charpentier and Atys by Lully under the baton of William Christie, Acyone by Marais, Platée by Rameau with Marc Minkovski, Alceste by Luly and Platée conducted by Jean-Claude Malgoire or Armide by Lully with Philippe Herreweghe. Curious and concerned to mix styles and types, without renouncing neither at the baroque universe (Calisto by Cavalli at the Stadtoper in Berlin, Il ritorno d’Ulysse in the Grand Théâtre in Genève, Orféo by Monteverdi in Salzbourg, in Lausanne, Platée by Rameau in Genève, Lisbonne and Bordeaux and in Garnier Opera in 2002…..), nor at Mozart (Tamino in Zauberflöte, Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Ferrando in Cosi Fan Tutte).

Gilles Ragon performs with the same great facility the 19th century and contemporary repertories. In this way, he can be heard in the roles of Vincent in Mireille by Charles Gounod, Fritz in La Grande Duchesse de Gerolstein and in Les Contes d’Hoffmann by Offenbach (Bastille Opera 2001), in Lakmé by Léo Delibes with Nathalie Dessay and he is Le Chevalier des Grieux in Manon, in Avignon in 2002. As far as the contemporary repertoire is concerned, he sings Lulu (the painter) and Wozzeck (Andres) by Alban Berg, Vanessa by Barber and Kullervo by Sallinen (both French premiers in Metz and Nantes), Rake’s Progress by Igor Stravinsky and without forgetting Benjamin Britten's The Turn of the Screw, The Rape of Lucretia, A Midsummer night’s Dream……… So, Gilles Ragon makes in the same season Baroque and contemporary music: from Platée by Rameau (Wiesbaden Opera) to Louise (Julien) by Gustave Charpentier in Marseille Opera, to La Péricole by Offenbach, to Lulu by Alban Berg in Capitole of Toulouse, and to l’Heure Espagnole by Ravel in Metz, to La Calisto by Cavalli conducted by René Jacobs in Vienna and in Luxembourg. With the pianist Jean-Louis Haguenauer, he performs Lieder and French melodies (recitals in theatre of Chatelet, salle Gaveau, French National Library, Flâneries musicales of Reims, in Los Angeles, Midis of Capitole, in Studio Bastille….). They recorded together melodies and duets by Berlioz with the baritone Didier Henry.

During the recent seasons Gilles Ragon performed in Le Coq d’Or by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and Elektra by Richard Strauss in Capitole of Toulouse, les Noces de Figaro by Mozart in Avignon, the principal role of the premier by Philippe Fénelon: Les Rois, in Bordeaux Opera, Carmen in Chorégies d’Orange and Requiem by Verdi with the Orchestre National de Lyon in June 2004, he sang Elektra in the Opera of Angers/Nantes, Jeanne d’Arc au Bûcher in Strasbourg, in Toulouse, la Veuve Joyeuse, Le Couronnement de Poppée and Arabella. He returned to Wiesbaden to perform again the role of Mime in Siegfried for which he obtained a huge success in 2004-2005. In May 2006, he is Werther in Bordeaux opera and in Avignon. In 2006-2007 he will be, among others, in Liege for Arabella where to sing Matteo, in Marseille for Le Dialogue des Carmélites, in Avignon for La Flûte Enchantée (Tamino) and for La Chauve-Souris (Eisenstein). He returns in Toulouse for Faust by Fénelon, and then will be joining Orange where he performs Goro in Madame Butterfly, under the baton of Yutaka Sado.

Besides about 30 recordings devoted to the early music, Gilles Ragon's discography is composed of the role of Guillot in Manon by Massenet conducted by Antonio Pappano (EMI), Werther, Rodrigue and Chimène, Les Contes d’Hoffmann with Kent Nagano and the Lyon's Opera (Erato), Le Pays by Guy Ropartz (Timpani, first world recording) with the Orchestra of Luxembourg and Jean-Yves Ossonce, Le Chant de la Terre by Malher with the E.O.C and Daniel Kawka (Selena) and his duets for tenor A doi tenori with Bruno Boterf (Empreinte Digital).

Source: All Music Guide Website (Author: Joseph Stevenson); Valmalete Website (May 2007)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (May 2007)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Jean-Marc Andrieu


BWV 244

Links to other Sites

Gilles Ragon (Angers-Nantes Opéra) [French]
Gilles Ragon (Valmalete) [French/English]

Gilles Ragon - Biography (AMG)
Gilles Ragon: Information from

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