April 6 to 13, 2020
André began his vocal studies at the Conservatoire de Marseille where he was admitted with an exceptional exemption at the age of 14. He was also the youngest baritone hired by Bernard Lefort at the Opéra de Paris singing school.
His first roles are immediately renowned: "Pulcinella" by Stravinsky (Théâtre des Champs Elysées under the direction of Manuel Rosenthal), Pluto in the Monteverdi’s "Orféo" (Théâtre National de Chaillot directed by Antoine Vittez), Escamillo in "Carmen" directed by Jean-Luc Bouttet, then in the very noticed production of Peter Brook (in which he performed more than 40 representations), as well as the 4 demons roles in "The Tales of Hoffman", the Speaker of the temple in "The Magic Flute" or Figaro in "The Marriage of Figaro" touring throughout France.
At the same time, the Comédie Française welcomed him to perfom the singing parts written by Lully for the "Bourgeois Gentilhomme" and he regularly participated in the lyric seasons of Radio France, notably under Pinchas Steinberg’s direction or Nello Santi’s ("La Forza del destino" ).
Noticed in 1995 Wexford Festival in the role of Gaveston of "The White Lady", he was invited again for "The pilgrims of Mecca" by Glück and the "Assedio di Calais" by Donizetti, before acting as Samuel Ramel’s double in "The Tales of Hoffmann" at Covent Garden, London.
From then on, he could be heard in Birmingham and Munich (Zuniga in "Carmen" alongside José Carreras), in Karlsruhe for the title role of "Hamlet" (his favorite role which he performed in John Cox’s staging) in Rouen, then in Prague, Nilakantha in "Lakmé", Ezio in "Attila" by Verdi. When the Opera North hired him to play the role of Zurga in "The Pearl Fishers", he was noticed by the British press to the point of being honored on the front page of the "Times".
In 1998, the Fenice in Venice offered him the title role of the opera by Païsiello "Il ré teodoro a Venezia" and that of Albert in "Werther", role which he will perform the same season at the New Israeli Opera in Tel Aviv in the setting on stage by Jean-Claude Auvray before achieving great success in the role of Herod of the "Childhood of the Christ" by Berlioz in Madrid directed by Frubeek di Burgos. He recorded this role in Lugano with the orchestra of the Italian Swiss Radio for Forlane under the direction of Serge Baudo and sang "Les Noces" by Stravinsky in Paris under the direction of Marek Janowski.
André Cognet is also involved in the creation of contemporary works. In Paris on the occasion of the inauguration of the city's new theater in 97, he played the main role in the world creation of “L'épouse injustement soupçonnée” on a libretto by Jean Cocteau in the staging by Jacques Nichet, a production which also took him to Lisbon.
Another world premiere in 98, this time for Radio-France with the Philharmonic Orchestra, of a cantata for solo baritone by Claude Ballif. Also can be noticed the same season his participation in the work of Charles Chaynes "Jocaste" and the French premiere of "Wozzeck" by Manfred Gurlitt at the Rouen Opera, a production which was awarded the Grand Prize for Criticism for the best show of the year.
Praised by international press for the role of Escamillo in the staging of Franco Zeffirelli at the Arena of Verona alongside Jose Carreras, in 2001-2002 André Cognet took over the role at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples under the direction of Daniel Oren , at the Cagliari festival but also in Hong Kong, then made his debut in Lescaut in Puccini's "Manon Lescaut" in Tel Aviv with the Israeli Philharmonic (Zuhbin Mehta), "The child and the spells" at Haus Concert in Berlin with the Berliner Symphonic Orchestrer (conducted by Serge Baudo).
In 2003-2004, André Cognet interpreted Nilakantha from "Lakmé" in Karlsruhe, the title role of "Hamlet" at the Prague Opera and made very noted debut in Méphisto from "Faust" at the Miami Opera: so many different roles that show the extent of its range.
For 2004-2005, he could be quoted "The Childhood of the Christ" (Herod) in Malaga, the High Priest of "Samson and Dalila" at the Herodaticus Festival in Athens, a recital at the Prague Autumn Festival, Verdi's "Requiem" in Paris. He is invited back to the Grand Florida Opera in Miami for the role of Capulet in "Romeo and Juliet" then returns to France for Escamillo in the new production of "Carmen" at the Marseille Opera, directed by Patrice Chorier and Moshe Leiser .
In 2006, in addition to numerous recitals and concerts, he recorded a series of successful tunes for French television (Air d'Hamlet, Escamillo, Rigoletto, Almaviva in the Marriage of Figaro) and in London with the London Philarmonic Orchestra, unreleased works by Offenbach for the English opera house Rara.
In 2007, his interpretation of the role of Albert in "Werther" alongside Rolando Villazon at the Nice Opera was praised by the international press.
In November 2008, he was Capulet in "Romeo and Juliet" at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam under the direction of Riccardo Chailly.
He is invited to give a recital in June 2009-2010-2011 at the "White Nights" festival in Saint Petersburg.
He is the first French singer to be invited by the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow (in January 2011) to give a masterclass in the "Young Artist Program".