The versatile operatic baritone Stéphane Degout has been a frequent sight on operatic stages in his native France, the U.S., Italy, and elsewhere since coming on the scene in the late '90s. In addition to mainstream Italian, German, and French repertory, he has also appeared in early music productions and is adept in the French mélodie repertory.
Degout was born in Bourg-en-Bresse in eastern France on June 9, 1975, and grew up in nearby Saint-Jean-de-Niost. He attended the Lycée Saint-Exupéry in Lyon, went on to the National Conservatory of Music and Dance, and has continued to live in France's second city. His major role came in 1998 at the Opéra National in Lyon, as Pagageno in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte, and he reprised the role in Aix-en-Provence in 1999. Degout studied with Margreet Honig at the conservatory and took master classes with, among other prominent singers, Régine Crespin and Gundula Janowitz. A second prize in the 2002 Plácido Domingo Competition boosted his profile beyond his home region, and since then he has appeared at many of the world's top houses. At the Theater an der Wien he has sung Guglielmo in Mozart's Così fan tutte and the title role in Monteverdi's Orfeo; at London's Covent Garden he has been seen as Dandini in Rossini's La Cenerentola and as Mercutio in Gounod's Roméo et Juliette; and he has made multiple appearances at both the Metropolitan Opera in New York and the Lyric Opera of Chicago. In the early music field, he has worked under conductors René Jacobs, William Christie, Emmanuelle Haïm, Marc Minkowski, and Christophe Rousset. Degout also lists several premiers of contemporary operas among his credits; he was cast in the premiere of Benôit Mernier's La Dispute in 2013 and in three operas by Belgian composer Philippe Boesmans: Au monde (2014) and La monnaie and Pinocchio (2017). The year 2018 saw the release of no fewer than three Degout recordings: a Pinocchio recording was issued on the Cypres label; the aria recital Enfers (with Raphaël Pichon) appeared on Harmonia Mundi; and he was the baritone soloist in Charpentier's Leçons de Ténèbres under conductor Jonathan Cohen on the Hyperion label. He was nominated for a Best Opera Recording Grammy award in 2019 for George Benjamin: Lessons in Love and Violence. Degout was made a Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters in 2012.