Gilbert-Michel Rolle
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Arts Global

Gilbert-Michel Rolle tenor


Swiss born lyric tenor Gilbert-Michel Rolle made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2003, and returned to the world famous stage in 2005. Since then Mr Rolle has maintained an international agenda, with performances currently scheduled through 2011.

The season of 2007-2008 offered a series of firsts for Mr Rolle. Last spring, he debuted at New York's Merkin Hall in a solo concert with orchestra conducted by Antony Geralis. Additionally in May, Mr Rolle performed a Rachmaninov program for the Swiss Global Artistic Foundation, and was honored as a guest artist on its roster. But the tenor's favorite item on his recent professional agenda is the New York release of his debut CD, Musical Voyage. The disc, recorded in New York at Town Hall with piano, string quartet and clarinet was just released at Barnes & Noble-Lincoln Center.

Musical Voyage chronicles in song Mr Rolle's foremost professional and cultural influences since he began his studies in Switzerland at the University of Fribourg. In addition to compositions by Carissimi, Caldara, Schubert, Fauré, Lalo and Duparc, the recording features five "old American songs" by Aaron Copland as well as American Spirituals. Thus, Mr Rolle embraces five distinct musical styles and four languages. The tenor, a published poet, has a love of language and literature which always influences and informs his repertoire.

Musical Voyage was well received by critics, and Mr Rolle has recently been interviewing on U.S. radio stations from New York to Las Vegas. In August 2007 he appeared on nationally syndicated television show "The Dennis Bono Show". After previewing the CD on Swiss National Radio in December, Mr Rolle is scheduled to return to Europe in summer 2008 for a promotional tour sponsored by record retailer FNAC.

Mr Rolle began his musical journey singing music he heard in concert or on the radio in Rueyres-St-Laurent, Switzerland. His youthful, eclectic repertoire included Bach cantatas and Fauré melodies, but also contemporary songs from Jacques Brel and Yves Montand. His family encouraged his musical talent as it became evident it was his calling. He began piano studies and formal vocal training at the Fribourg Conservatory.

After Mr Rolle received his Masters degree at the University of Fribourg, he moved to Paris and enrolled at La Sorbonne where he earned an additional Diplôme d'Etudes Approfondies in 19th C. Paris Opera. Concurrently, he studied at L'Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris while working on his vocal technique with Marie-Henriette Dejean and Peter Gottlieb of the Conservatoire Supérieure de Musique de Paris. When the tenor won first prize in the Leopold Bellan Vocal Competition, the honor propelled his career forward, leading to recitals, concerts, opera and oratorio roles all over Europe. His charm and elegant stature were not lost on the world outside the classical milieu; in Paris Mr Rolle also worked as a model on the fashion runways of some of the world's leading designers including Yves Saint-Laurent.

When Mr Rolle arrived in the United States, his first stop was San Francisco where he worked with James Schwabacher, co-founder of the Merola Opera Program. While maintaining a growing concert schedule in Europe, he performed frequently with San Francisco orchestras, and eventually moved to New York to make his Carnegie Hall debut.

Mr Rolle is frequently featured on Swiss National Television and has been profiled on American and Russian networks as well. His calendar for 2008 includes upcoming concerts in Washington D.C., New York and Switzerland. In 2009, he will tour Europe with a series of concerts promoting his CD Musical Voyage. Mr Rolle is currently preparing a new recording with an increased array of musical styles.

Gilbert-Michel Rolle is a resident of New York City.

Musical Voyage (Centaurus Classics" 2007) is distributed by twelve online companies including CDBaby, Apple iTunes and Napster, and in selected FNAC and Barnes and Noble retail locations. Musical Voyage is also available through Mr Rolle's website at: