Hailed by the Globe and Mail as “a brilliant performer,” “with the kind of magnetism that comes from combining realism with exhaustive extremes,” baritone Geoffrey Sirett won the 2018 Dora Award in Outstanding Opera Performance by a male actor for his leading role of Akakiy in The Overcoat (Canadian Stage co-production with Tapestry Opera and Vanocuver Opera). Having emerged as one of Canada’s finest young baritones, he is now more sought-after across the country than ever and is known for his wide range of operatic and concert repertoire.
His charisma as an actor and a singer kept him busy over the recent years in the operatic world: the 2018-19 season included his debut on the Four Seasons Centre stage in the Canadian Opera Company production of Arabella as Welko and the role of Captain Corcoran in Edmonton Opera’s H.M.S. Pinafore, in addition to his aforementioned award-winning performances in The Overcoat. In the summer, he was with Music & Beyond for Dido & Aeneas as the male lead, and with Kelowna Opera in Carmen as Escamillo. On the concert stage, he joined the Toronto Symphony Orchestra for Weill’s Seven Deadly Sins, and looks forward to singing Messiah with the Peterborough Singers and St. John Passion with the Ottawa Choral Society in 2018-19.
During the summer of 2016, Sirett returned to Nova Scotia for a repeat of the hit production The Bells of Baddeck followed closely by a Banff workshop for the Toronto Symphony’s presentation of Seven Deadly Sins. In 2016-2017, he also appeared as Oreste in Elektra and Ping in Turandot for Edmonton Opera, Elijah for the Pax Christi Chorale, Messiah for the Newfoundland Symphony, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis for the Grand Philharmonic Choir and an appearance with the Bach Elgar Choir of Hamilton.
Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 (Orchestre symphonique de Drummondville), Bach’s B-Minor Mass (Sweetwater Festival), Mussorgsky’s Songs and Dances of Death (Off Centre Music Salon), The Merry Widow (Edmonton Opera), Damnation of Faust (Calgary Philharmonic), Prince Igor (VOICEBOX: Opera in Concert), Bach’s Mass in B Minor (Ottawa Bach Choir), and a Candlelight Christmas Concert (13 Strings Chamber Orchestra) were highlights of recent seasons.
Further credits include John Adam’s The Wound Dresser (Victoria Symphony), Brahms’ Requiem (Ottawa Bach Choir), Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas (Theatre of Early Music), Handel’s Messiah (Winnipeg Symphony) as well as performances with the Talisker Players, Canadian Art Song Project, Orchestra London, Winnipeg Symphony, Victoria Symphony, and Nota Bene Baroque Orchestra. Appearances on the opera stage included Opéra de Montréal’s production of Kevin Puts’ Silent Night, Wolf-Ferrari’s Il segreto di Susanna with Opera5, and the world-premiere of MacDonald/Burry’s The Bells of Baddeck.
The premiere of James Rolfe’s Open Road, Brian Current’s Airline Icarus, Pergolesi’s La serva padrona, Dean Burry’s The Brothers Grimm, Bach’s Johannes Passion, Mozart’s Krönungsmesse, Stankar in Verdi’s Stifellio, Bach’s Weihnachtsoratorium, and Messiah are works he has performed for Soundstreams, Against the Grain, Canadian Opera Company, Ottawa Choral Society and Choeur St. Laurent. Don Giovanni, Le nozze di Figaro, Così fan tutte, Hansel and Gretel, Orlando, Candide, Il mondo della luna, Pagliacci, Der Kaiser von Atlantis, Gianni Schicchi, Albert Herring, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, West Side Story, and The Great Gatsby are operas in which he has been featured.
Geoffrey is a graduate of the University of Toronto where he completed a Master’s in Music (Opera). He is the winner of awards and prizes from a number of competitions including the Canadian Conservatory Vocal Competition, Ottawa Choral Society Competition, Czech and Slovak International Voice Competition, Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and he received 2nd place and the “Best Performance of a Canadian Work” Award in the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal Competition. He is a five-time grant recipient of the Jacqueline Desmarais Foundation, and winner of the Vancouver Opera Guild Career Development Grant.
Winner of the Norcop Song Prize, his recital appearances include performances for the Aldeburgh Connection and Bayfield Festival of Song with pianist Stephen Ralls, Van Cliburn Foundation with composer/pianist Ricky Ian Gordon, and the Chautauqua Institution with pianists Craig Rutenberg and Mikael Eliasen. Collaborating with pianist Stephen Ralls, his first solo album Vagabond is a disc devoted to the works of Vaughan Williams, Butterworth, and Britten as well as premiere recordings of Canadian composers Ivan Barbotin and Jocelyn Morlock. Additional recordings include Airline Icarus (Naxos: opera by Brian Current), The Heart’s Refuge (Analekta: Theatre of Early Music) and The Vale of Tears (Analekta: Theatre of Early Music).
|Diesel||WEST SIDE STORY|
|Britten||Superintendent Budd||ALBERT HERRING|
|Snug||A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM|
|Alexander Graham Bell||THE BELLS OF BADDECK|
|Corigliano||Figaro||THE GHOSTS OF VERSAILLES|
|Current||Business Man||AIRLINE ICARUS|
|Donizetti||Enrico||LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR|
|Harbison||Nick Carraway||THE GREAT GATSBY|
|Haydn||Ernesto||IL MONDO DELLA LUNA|
|Humperdinck||Peter||HANSEL UND GRETEL|
|Léhar||Danilo||THE MERRY WIDOW|
COSÌ FAN TUTTE
LE NOZZE DI FIGARO
|Nyman||Dr. P||THE MAN WHO MISTOOK HIS WIFE FOR A HAT|
|Offenbach||Lindorf/Schlemil||LES CONTES D’HOFFMAN|
|Pergolesi||Uberto||LA SERVA PADRONA|
|Purcell||Aeneas||DIDO AND AENEAS|
|Puts||William Dale||SILENT NIGHT|
|Ravel||L’Arbre||L’ENFANT ET LES SORTILÈGES|
|Sondheim||Sweeney Todd||SWEENEY TODD|
|Sharman||Dorset||FROM THE HOUSE OF MIRTH|
|Ullmann||Der Tod||DER KAISER VON ATLANTIS|
|Wolf-Ferrari||Count Gil||IL SEGRETO DI SUSANNA|
|Adams||THE WOUND DRESSER|
|Bach||CANTATA 60, 82, 131, 140
JOHANNES PASSION (CHRISTUS)
MASS IN B MINOR
|Beethoven||SYMPHONY NO. 9|
|Eötvös||SNATCHES OF A CONVERSATION|
|Mahler||LIEDER EINES FAHRENDEN GESELLEN|
|Monteverdi||VESPRO DELLA BEATA VERGINE|
|MASS IN D MAJOR|
|REQUIEM IN D MINOR|
|Saint-Säens||ORATORIO DE NOËL|
|Vaughan Williams||DONNA NOBIS PACEM
FIVE MYSTICAL SONGS
“As Aeneas, Geoffrey Sirett was enormously impressive, all dignified, guilt-stricken duty […] His velvety, tea-stained baritone is grounded in luxurious legato and judicious use of falsetto for expressive effect. The line ‘But ah! what language can I try/My injur’d Queen to Pacify’ was sung with an uncanny mix of tender concern coupled with the anxiety of a man-child who knows there will be hell to pay for his self-centred decision.”
[Dido and Aeneas, Music & Beyond Festival] Opera Canada, Natasha Gauthier
“Baritone Geoffrey Sirett is simply perfect as the downtrodden bureaucrat Akakiy, whose favourite number is zero. He’s a nobody bullied relentlessly by his coworkers for his diligence, but he finally becomes a somebody when he saves his money for a fancy new coat—one that will eventually lead to his downfall.”
[The Overcoat: A Musical Tailoring – Canadian Stage, Tapestry Opera, and Vancouver Opera] The Georgia Straight (Vancouver Free Press), Janet Smith
“Baritone Geoffrey Sirett is wonderful as this lost soul and a fine anchor for Panych’s kinetic staging.”
[The Overcoat: A Musical Tailoring – Canadian Stage, Tapestry Opera, and Vancouver Opera] Toronto Star, John Terauds
“Geoffrey Sirett is extraordinary as Akakiy. Sirett has always been a brilliant performer … with the kind of magnetism that comes from combining realism with exhaustive extremes. As Akakiy, Sirett is immediately endearing, blissfully ignorant of the bullies at work and entirely uninterested in things such first impressions or a healthy diet.”
[The Overcoat: A Musical Tailoring – Canadian Stage, Tapestry Opera, and Vancouver Opera] The Globe and Mail, Jenna Simeonov
“In the lead role of Akakiy Akakiyevich Basmachkin, baritone Geoffrey Sirett was the perfect fit. Tall, lean, and quirkily handsome Geoffrey sang the role with all of his characteristic artistry. Big and booming at some points, ethereal and delicate in others he was a treasure to listen to… Sirett handled the choreographed movements with grace and dignity.”
[The Overcoat: A Musical Tailoring – Canadian Stage, Tapestry Opera, and Vancouver Opera] Schmopera, Greg Finney
“Geoffrey Sirett created the role of Akakiy Akakievich, a poignant mix of comedy and occasional pathos, wonderfully well sung. Sirett has a gift, possibly because he is free of affections or mannerisms and able to show real vulnerability, always interesting to watch.”
[The Overcoat: A Musical Tailoring – Canadian Stage, Tapestry Opera, and Vancouver Opera] BarczaBlog, Leslie Barcza
“Zoroastro is Orlando’s resident heavyweight. Part puppet master, part dues ex machine, the role demands a commanding vocal presence with deep dramatic undertones. Mr. Sirett has it covered. His is a big, full-bodied voice but one capable of surprising finesse. Bass baritones do not typically sing Baroque trills. Sirett does.” Opera Going Toronto, Ian Ritchie
“This is the powerful sound of an operatic contender, one that Sirett manages to tame into a golden vehicle for the expressive nuances of art song.” Vagabond – CD review
“Geoffrey Sirett, a Canadian-born baritone, made the strongest impression. As Count Almaviva, he managed to look and sound dignified.”
[Il Conte – Le Nozze di Figaro, Aspen Opera Theater Center] Seen and Heard International, Harvey Steiman
“Geoffrey Sirett just about brought the house down singing the Tosca excerpt with a muscular, powerhouse baritone that held its own in contest with the orchestra’s playing at full throttle.”
[Puccini Concert – Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus] Buffalo News, Garaud MacTaggart
“Geoffrey Sirett provided his Silvio character with a steady, strong bass full of meticulous concentration.”
[Silvio – Pagliacci, Queen’s Opera] Anecdotia
“…baritone Geoffrey Sirett … gave insightful and beautifully nuanced performances. Sirett’s deep, clear baritone traced somber but elegant phrases against the piano’s cloudy jangle of tonal chords.”
[Recital – Songs of Ricky Ian Gordon, Van Cliburn Foundation 2010] Fort Worth Star-Telegram
“Geoffrey Sirett’s rakish, amoral Don provided an eloquent focus, the aristocratic, dismissive treatment of everyone around.” [Don Giovanni – University of Toronto] Opera Canada
THE OVERCOAT with Tapestry Opera and Vancouver Opera
Geoffrey Sirett stars as Akakiy in The Overcoat: A Musical Tailoring.
Co-produced by Tapestry Opera, Vancouver Opera, and Canadian Stage.
At Canadian Stage: March 27 – April 14, 2018
At Vancouver Opera: April 28 – May 12, 2018
Photo by Dahlia Katz
Photo by Dahlia Katz
With the Canadian Opera Company
Geoffrey Sirett performs the role of Welko, in the 2017/18 season opening production of Strauss’ Arabella for the Canadian Opera Company. Performances run October 05, 28, 2017
The Vagabond by Ralph Vaughan Williams