The Maîtrise de Bretagne was the natural choice for Damien Guillon when it came to embarking on his musical training, and it was here that he became familiar with the various different repertoires within classical music. With the encouragement of his choirmaster, he discovered his vocal potential very early on and worked on the countertenor repertoire. Damien Guillon continued his training at the Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles, where he developed his vocal technique and deepened his research into the interpretation of early music, under the direction of a range of renowned teachers. In 2004, he began his training at the prestigious Schola Cantorum in Basel, where he perfected his skills with the guidance of Andreas Scholl. The seeds of future success took him from the Château de Versailles and Jordi Savall to Carnegie Hall, where he worked alongside Bernard Labadie. He was invited to join the Dresden Staatskapelle Orchestra, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam under the direction of Philippe Herreweghe, and the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra under Emmanuelle Haïm. He frequently travels to Asia, as a regular supporter of Masaaki Suzuki’s Bach Collegium Japan.
However, it is in his native region that he is now writing the next chapter in his artistic journey. Le Banquet Céleste, which is associated with the Rennes Opera, was founded in 2009, with the desire to share his interest in early music. To achieve this goal, the conductor brought together a generation of musicians, whom he also joins in order to explore the repertoire. His personal approach to conducting is a real breath of fresh air, that brings the ensemble together in perfect harmony, very much in tune with his values of sharing music, knowledge and experiences. At the helm of Le Banquet Céleste, Damien Guillon conducts a range of operatic productions such as Acis & Galatea by G.F. Handel, directed by Anne-Laure Liégeois; Stradella’s San Giovanni Battista, directed by Vincent Tavernier; Handel’s Rinaldo, directed by Claire Dancoisne; as well as a series of concerts performing the St. John Passion and Easter and Ascension Oratorios by J.S. Bach.
Renowned for his choice of repertoire both in terms of recordings and stage work, Damien Guillon has developed a particular sensibility for German music from the 17th and 18th centuries. Not devoting himself exclusively to the Cantor of Leipzig, through his taste for eclecticism, Damien Guillon interprets the Songs of the English Renaissance, as well as the great Italian oratorios and operas of the Baroque period. His extensive and acclaimed discography includes recordings of Bach’s Mass in B Minor and the St. John Passion with the Collegium Vocale Ghent, the St. Matthew Passion with the Bach Collegium Japan, and Handel’s Messiah with Le Concert des Nations.