Ariën Artists - Ivan Thirion_ Biography






Born in Belgium in 1990, the young baritone was accepted into the Royal Conservatory in Brussels at the age of 17, where he studied under the Belgian baritone Marcel Vanaud. After completing a Bachelor degree in Brussels, he joined the Geneva University of Music where he obtained his Master with Professor Gilles Cachemaille.

He made his operatic debut at the Royal Opera House of Wallonie/Liège as Papageno in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte, its success led to various reinvitations : Ogre in Auber's La Forêt Bleue, Gazella in Lucrezia Borgia, Tomaso in Un Ballo in Maschera, Marcello in La Bohème. But also in recent years the artist appeared in Liège as Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor - next to Annick Massis in the title role and Celso Albelo -, as Lord Cecil in Maria Stuarda and Don Carlo di Vargas in La Forza del Destino (as cover).

The weird corona times

Only few productions were saved since the corona virus outbreak : a concert version of Mozart's Nozze di Figaro (Il Conte Almaviva) with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of Liège led by Gergely Madaras and a new production of Berlioz' Béatrice et Bénédict (Somarone) directed by Damiano Michieletto and led by Daniele Rustioni at the Opera house of Lyon. Further on, he embarked at Flanders Opera to sing Don Fernando in excerpts of Beethoven's Fidelio, made successful his debut as Roderick Usher in The House of Usher (Debussy/Van Parys) and Albert in Massenet's Werther. To finish the weird season 2020-2021 in style, the artist participated in Tristan und Isolde (Steuermann) under Sir Simon Rattle's baton at the Aix-en-Provence Festival (2021).

Positive news !

During the season 2021-2022 Ivan Thirion will sing Ramiro in Ravel's L'Heure espagnole at Flanders Opera, make his debut in the title role of Rigoletto both at the Opera house of Rouen and at Paris' Théâtre des Champs Elysées (production for young audiences) and take part as Somarone in a new production of Béatrice et Bénédict at the Cologne Opera House under the baton of François-Xavier Roth and sing his first Nardo (Roberto) in Mozart’s La finta giardiniera,  at Théâtre des Martyrs in Brussels.

Some facts

Noteworthy pre-corona productions in which Ivan Thirion took part, are : Schreker's Der Schmied von Gent as Joseph, Glass' In the penal Colony as The Officer both at Flanders Opera, OPERA XXI (Antwerp), Operadagen Rotterdam and at the Geneva Opera house. There, he also appeared in Bizet's Carmen as Dancaire and Purcell's King Arthur as Grimbald, 3rd Man and Comus in King Arthur. Operazuid Maastricht invited him to sing Albert in Massenet's Werther and Sparck in Offenbach's Fantasio. He sang his first Golaud in Impressions de Pelléas in the semi-staged production with performances in Belgium and Italy, under the artistic direction and the accompaniment by the piano duo Jan Michiels and Inge Spinette .

In concert he embarked on a tour (including performances in main halls in Ghent, Leuven, Brussels and Versailles) with tenor Renoud Van Mechelen and his Ensemble A notte temporis proposing under the title "Un Noël français" a programme entirely dedicated to Marc-Antoine Charpentier. Further more he was offered a Residence at the renowned Festival of Aix-en-Provence where he deepened the Lied repertoire and distinguished himself in a series of recitals (2018). He also appeared in the solo baritone part in Brahms' "Ein deutsches Requiem" at the Opera house of Montpellier.



July 2013 Ivan Thirion was awarded with the "Wil Keune Prize for a young singer with real potential" at the 32th edition of the "Hans Gabor Belvédère Competition" (Amsterdam edition). The same year he won the 2nd Prize at the 6th edition of the St Petersburg Opera Competiton. He is also finalist of the 26th "Eleanor McCollum Competition for Young Singers" at the Houston Grand Opera (2014).

During that time, Ivan Thirion was also chosen to join the prestigious Young

Singers Project (edition of Summer 2015) initiated by the renowned Salzburg Festival. Within that framework he has appeared as Bartolo in a reduced version of Il Barbiere di Siviglia at the Festival, sung with the Mozarteum Orchestra and taken part in a tour to China, including peformances at the Shangai Grand Theatre, the Beijing National Opera, the Xi’an Concert Hall …

Eventually he has been chosen for the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition 2017, being the first Belgian to reach the final rounds since 30 years.

Breakthrough of a young career

From 2011 to 2013 Ivan Thirion was affiliated with CNIPAL the so called Opera Studio of Marseille, where he appeared in many concerts and opera productions. The latter in collaboration with other French theatres that proved fruitful afterwards such as the Opera Houses of Montpellier (where he sung his first Figaro in Nozze di Figaro), Marseille and Avignon where he sang Franck (Die Fledermaus) and Maharadja (L’amour masqué), next to Toulon, Nancy, Limoges and Bordeaux. Making himself a name Ivan Thirion was invited by the Festival of Radio France to participate in Benjamin Godard's La Vivandière.

Subsequently he joined the International opera studio of the Zurich Opera House, where he was cast as Ping (Turandot), Lakai (Ariadne auf Naxos), Bello (La Fanciulla del West), Rodomonte in Haydn’s Orlando Paladino and Coryphée (Le Comte Ory) next to Cecilia Bartoli ...

Whilst trained and breaking through Ivan Thirion has repeatedly sung under conductors as Fabio Luisi, Marco Armiliato, William Christie, Kazushi Ono, John Fiore, Paolo Arrivabeni and Leonardo Garcia Alarcon ... and worked toghether with stage directors such as David Pountney, Giancarlo del Monaco, Stefano Mazzonis di Pralafera, Andreas Homoki, Philippe Sireuil, Claus Guth, Marcial di Fonzo Bo, Waut Koeken, Simon Stone …

CV UPDATE 2021-2022. Please contact the Agency, to get the most recent version of the present biography, or its short version.

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