Le Banquet Céleste, Damien Guillon & Maude Gratton

Biography Le Banquet Céleste, Damien Guillon & Maude Gratton

Damien Guillon
begins his musical knowledge in 1989 at the Maîtrise de Bretagne supervised by Jean-Michel Noël. He receives a full music education from his youngest age including Harpsichord and organ, and quickly sings as solo soprano in many baroque oratorios as well as Opera master pieces. Then, he is a member of the Maîtrise du Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles directed by Olivier Schneebeli, where he improves his vocal technique and deepens his research about early music interpretations with Howard Crook, Jérome Corréas, Alain Buet, Noëlle Barker and later with Andreas Scholl at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis.

Currently, his vocal and musical qualities earned him invitations to perform with conductors as famous as William Christie, Vincent Dumestre, Emmanuelle Haïm, Pierre Hantaï, Philippe Herreweghe, Bernard Labadie, Paul McCreesh, Jean-Claude Malgoire, Hervé Niquet, Philippe Pierlot , Hans Christophe Rademann, François Xavier Roth, Christophe Rousset, Jordi Savall and Masaaki Suzuki.

His repertoire ranges from songs of the English Renaissance to Baroque oratorios Bach (Saint John Passion, Saint Matthew Passion, Mass in B minor, Lutherian masses …), Handel’s Messiah or Dixit Dominus and also operas by Monteverdi (L’Incoronazione di Poppea, Ritrono d’Ulisse in Patria), Händel Teseo, Rinaldo, Athalia, Giulio Cesare), Purcell (King Arthur and Dido and Aeneas) and Landi’s Il Sant’Alessio with William Christie. In demand for his concert work, he performs Weinachts-oratorium with Philippe Herreweghe and Collegium Vocale Gent (Lincoln Center in New York, Palau de la Musica in Barcelone, Baden-Baden Festival etc…) and also with prestigious Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw Orchestra; a European tour of Bach’s Saint Matthew Passion with Raphaël Pichon and Ensemble Pygmalion, Bach’s Cantatas with Nederlandse Bach Society; Bach’s Alto solo cantatas and Vivaldi’s Motets with Café Zimmerman; with Bernard Labadie Vivaldi’s Selva Regina with the New World Symphony in Miami etc.

Damien Guillon is now frequently invited as a conductor: he conducted Caldara’s Maddalena ai piedi di Cristo with Les Musiciens du Paradis, Bach’s Magnificat with the Café Zimmermann and the Chamber Choir of Rouen, Bach’s Cantatas with the Collegium Vocale Gent in Saintes Festival etc.

In 2009, Damien Guillon founded Le Banquet Céleste to promote an exacting work on the baroque repertoire, with a regular team of singers and instrumentalists who were all specially trained in the styles approached by the ensemble. Among other projects, we note a programme of Christmas cantatas by J.S. Bach, Lamentations and Respons by J.D. Zelenka, and further to the success Bach Alto solo Cantatas’s recording, he began a productive collaboration with Glossa with Bach’s Psalm 51 and Vivaldi’s Nisi Dominus. 2015 was his first appearance on an orchestra pit conducting Le Banquet Céleste on a new scenic production of Haendel’s Acis and Galatea, staged by Anne Laure Liégeois.

Recent and future engagements included Cyrus in Handel’s Belshazzar with Ottavio Dantone and Accademia Bizantina, Bach’s B minor Mass and Saint Matthew Passion with Mazaaski Suzuki and Bach Collegium Japan, a European tour of Saint Matthew Passion and St John Passion conducted by Philippe Herreweghe with Collegium Vocale Gent and also with the prestigious Concertgebouw Amsterdam Orchestra, Gewandhaus Leipzig or Staatskapelle Dresden in 2018, Bach’s Easter Oratrio with Holland Bach Society, Dixit Dominus and Bach’s Magnificat with Emmanuelle Haïm and Le Concert d’Astrée etc.

Le Banquet Celeste
Founded in 2009, the ensemble promotes an exacting work on the baroque repertoire, with a regular team of singers and instrumentalists who were all specially trained in the styles approached by the ensemble.

On the eve of its 10th anniversary season, Le Banquet Céleste has won over many prestigious concert halls and festivals: Salle Gaveau (Paris), Rennes and Avignon Opera, Festival d’Arques-la-Bataille, Les Arts renaissants (Toulouse), Festival for Ancient Music (Froville), Saint-Michel en Thiérache, Festival de Sablé, Festival de Saintes, Festival de Beaune, Festival d’Ambronay, Festival de La Chaise Dieu… The ensemble was also invited in China (Beijing and Wuhan), Belgium (Concertgebouw Brugge and Bijloke Gand), Italy (Jesi Pergolesi Spontini Festival), and Germany at the Klangvokal Festival in Dortmund.

The first recording of the ensemble, devoted to Bach’s cantatas BWV 170 and 35 for alto and organo obligato, was released by Zig-Zag Territoires in 2012. It garnered stellar reviews in the specialized press (fff by Télérama, 4/5 Diapason Magazine, **** by Classica). In 2016, has been released by Glossa “Bach and Italy” with Celine Scheen including Vivaldi’s Nisi Dominus and Bach Psaulm 51 (Télérama ffff) and “Affetti amorosi” dedicated to G. Frescobaldi Arie Musicali as been released in February 2018 (5/5 Diapason Magazine).

Among other recent and upcoming projects: Christmas cantatas by J.S. Bach and Johannes-Passion with children choir, A. Stradella’s San Giovanni Battista (staging by Vincent Tavernier), G-F Haendel’s Acis and Galatea (staging by Anne-Laure Liégeois), Maddalena ai piedi di Cristo by A. Caldara and H. Pucell’s Odes and Welcome songs with choir.

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