Jean-Michel made his Pacific Opera Victoria debut as Vallier de Tilly in Les Feluettes. He created the role for the 2016 world première in Montreal and reprised the role in Victoria and at Edmonton Opera in 2017. He returns to Pacific Opera in 2020 as Don José in Carmen.
Jean-Michel’s 2019/20 season also includes Jacquino in Fidelio and Angel 3 in Written on Skin with Opéra de Montréal. Other recent engagements include Gonzalve in l’Heure Espagnole with Opéra national de Lorraine; Florestan in Léonore ou L’Amour Conjugal (Opera Lafayette); Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni (Opéra de Montréal, Saskatoon Opera); the Father in the world première of Another Brick in the Wall (Opéra de Montréal, revival at Cincinatti Opera); and the title role of Faust with Orchestre Symphoniuqe de Trois Rivières.
After studying trombone and singing in Montreal, Jean-Michel pursued his studies with the Music Academy of the West in California, the Canadian Vocal Arts Institute, and the Orford Arts Center with Marilyn Horne, Warren Jones, Michel Sénéchal, Joan Dornemann, Edith Bers, and Tom Krause. In 2011 he joined l’Atelier lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal where he took part in several productions with Opéra de Montréal.
Past highlights include Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Chevalier de la Force in Dialogues des carmélites, and the title role of Werther (Chautauqua Music Festival); Fernando in Montezuma (Montreal Baroque Festival); L’affaire Tailleffaire at the Opéra de Limoges, France; Tom Rakewell (The Rake’s Progress), Des Grieux (Manon), and Rodolfo (La bohème) at the Curtis Institute of Music; and selections as the Duke in Rigoletto (Quebec Opera Gala). Richer is generously supported by the Jacqueline Desmarais Foundation.
Tenor Jean-Michel Richer embodies the innocence of Count Vallier de Tilly. More comfortable with his sexuality than the other two members of the love triangle, Richer’s soaring tenor pierces the auditorium with a panoply of emotion: love, regret, sadness and desire. Richer debuted the role with Opéra de Montréal in 2016 and is a standout performer in this production.
Oliver Munar, Schmopera, review of Les Feluettes, Edmonton Opera, 2017