BELGIAN BASS - BARYTON
( 1943 )
Nicolas Christou studied singing in Brussels with Master Frédéric Anspach. He has the enormous chance to encounter and receive advices and encouragements from some of the 20th century's most remarkable artists : Mr Hans Hotter, Mr George London, Mr Ludwig Weber, Mr Ramon Vinay, Mrs Germaine Lubin and Professor Clemens Kaiser Breme, vocal advisor at Bayreuth.
At the age of 21, he was offered his first engagement by Mr. Maurice Huisman at the Royal Theatre of “La Monnaie” (Brussels) where he was entrusted with roles such as Figaro, Colline, Basilio, Leporello, Ramphis and Don Giovanni. At the age of 28 he sang his first Boris Godounov in a production directed by Herbert Graf and conducted by André Vandernoot. This became an important role in his career, as he has sung it in 3 different languages (Russian, French and German) and in 4 different versions. During 18 seasons he performed at “La Monnaie” various main roles, such as Golaud, Philippe II, Falstaff, Jochanaan, Gunther and Wotan.
Christou has also sung in several major European cities and events, including Paris, Madrid, Rome, Parma, Amsterdam, Geneva, Berlin, Copenhagen, Zagreb, Warsaw, Aix en Province, Lyon, Nice and Strasbourg. He also sung regularly at the “ Opéra Royal de Wallonie”, singing roles as diverse as Boris, Méphisto, Barbe Bleue ( Bartok), the Father of “Louise”, Father Grandier (The Devils from Loudun) and Dr Schön (Lulu), appearing also regularly in Germany and in Switzerland in the main roles of the German repertoire.
The repertoire of Nicolas Christou comprises 75 main roles, such as Giulio Cesare, Agamemnon, Telramund, the Flying Dutchman, Amfortas, Mandryka, Jago, Macbeth, Scarpia and Danton (von Einem). He has sung compositions ranging from Monteverdi, Rameau and Gluck to Mozart, Verdi, Wagner, Strauss and Debussy to Berg, Zimmerman, Penderecki and Liebermann.
Important stage directors with whom Nicolas Christou has worked include Wieland Wagner, Michael Hampe, Louis Erlo, Borislav Horowicz, Ken Russel, Jean Pierre Grenier, Jean Pierre Ponnelle, Prof. Rudolf Sellner, Daniel Mesguisch, Jorge Lavelli, Albert André Lheureux, Philippe Sireuil, Gian Carlo del Monaco, Hans Peter Lehmann and Peter Brenner.
Christou had also the pleasure of singing under many famous conductors, such as Armin Jordan, Peter Schneider, Serge Baudo, Pierre Dervaux, Jean Fournet, Nello Santi, Anton Guadagno, Manuel Rosenthal, Bruno Maderna, Roberto Benzi, Marek Janowski, Robert Satanowski, Carlos Païta, Yuri Ahronovich, Jean Claude Malgoire and Friedrich Pleyer.
Besides his extensive opera engagements, Nicolas Christou has a great affinity for Lied repertoire, singing recitals in the French, German and Russian repertoire, and he enjoys also a fine reputation as a concert artist, having performed in Rome (Academia di Santa Cecilia), Venice, Florence, Paris (Salle Pleyel and Radio France), Frankfort ( Alte Oper), Athens ( Megaron Moussikis), Antwerp ( Elizabethzaal), Lille (Grand Palais Arena), Bremen (Die Glocke), San Sebastian and Montpellier, in compositions as diverse as the Messiah and Samson ( Manoah) by Händel, the Creation by Haydn, the Christ in the passions of Bach, the Christ of Golgotha by Frank Martin, the Ninth Symphony by Beethoven, the Hérode in Christ’s Childhood by Berlioz, the Créon in Oedipus Rex by Stravinsky, the Ivan the Terrible by Prokofiev, Brahms and Verdi Requiem...
For the past few years he has devoted an increasing amount of his time and energy to teaching. He is currently a Professor in the Conservatoire Royal at Liège and is regularly invited abroad as Soloist Vocal Advisor, namely for the National Opera of Estonia and the Hélikon Opera in Moscow.