Ahead of OA’s Thaïs, the French-Canadian baritone shares his early dream of being a singer in the style of Elton John.

What kind of music did you grow up with?

My parents were radio listeners, and mostly while we were in the car, so I grew up with all the French hits of the 80s, a mix of music from Quebec, where I’m from, and of course France. At the same time I was studying music, so I did play classical pieces on the piano but I scarcely listened to any of them.

What was it got you started singing?

It was kind of an accident. I was studying jazz piano in what we call CEGEP, it’s between high school and university in the province of Quebec. I didn’t quite enjoy it, so I was thinking I could maybe become a pop singer, like an Elton John or a Billy Joel type guy who plays piano at the same time. I started studying jazz singing but I didn’t really enjoy it either because it was mostly the study of improvisation, which I had learned from the piano playing. So I went into classical singing and then got stuck because I fell...