Endowed with clear diction and a voice with a rare timbre, Jérôme Corréas excels in the subtle art of French Baroque singing, which he brings to audiences at major international venues. When he is conducting, he leads the singers with the same verve and energy from the orchestra pit.
Jérôme Corréas began the piano at the age of five, before developing a keen interest in the harpsichord and the early music repertoire. He took lessons from the pioneer of early music, Antoine Geoffroy-Dechaume, who taught him the different aspects of playing the harpsichord, including basso continuo and improvisation. Jérôme Corréas then became interested in singing. He was accepted into the Paris conservatoire, where he studied opera with Xavier Depraz and Baroque singing with William Christie. He graduated with distinctions, also obtaining two Bachelor's degrees in history and history of art from the Sorbonne. Jérôme Corréas strove to become the ideal of a well-rounded artist - instrumentalist, singer and well-read scholar - such as could be found in the eighteenth century.
He was invited by William Christie to sing in Les Arts Florissants in The Fairy Queen by Purcell, thereby launching his career as a professional singer. He was a member of this ensemble from 1989 to 1993, giving him an opportunity to expand his knowledge of the French Baroque repertoire, which proved a superb showcase for his naturally clear diction and controlled vibrato (Atys by Lully, Castor & Pollux, Les Indes galantes by Rameau). On Régine Crespin's advice, he rounded off his training at the Opéra de Paris singing school from 1991 to 1993. During this period, he explored a broad repertoire ranging from Baroque opera to French Impressionist song, and performed abroad with major conductors such as Sigiswald Kuijken, Michel Corboz and Marek Janowski, and leading pianists such as Jean-Claude Pennetier, Marie-Josèphe Jude and Philippe Bianconi.
Extensive research into the art of spoken singing (known in French as parlé-chanté and in German as Sprechgesang), which was born with opera, led him to take his musical experiments further and found his own ensemble, specialised in the performance of French and Italian operas of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: Les Paladins was founded in 2001. Since then, it has staged productions in which the works of Monteverdi, Purcell and Rameau are enhanced by theatre, dance and even puppetry. Jérôme Corréas gradually gave up singing in order to devote himself exclusively to conducting his ensemble from the harpsichord, or acting as guest conductor in productions of Baroque music in Israel and Saint Petersburg. He also teaches the study of vocal style at the Toulouse conservatoire.
Six landmark dates in the life of Jérôme Corréas:
1986: Bachelor's degrees in history and history of art from the Sorbonne
1989: joined Les Arts Florissants
1991: entered the Opéra de Paris opera school
2001: founded Les Paladins
2006: released a recording of L'Ormindo by Cavalli with Sandrine Piau
2011: Was made a Knight of the French Order of Arts and Letters
Biography compiled from Radio France Musical Documentation, November 2014