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Natalie Dessay Biography

Natalie Dessay Tickets

Natalie Dessay In-depth Biography

French coloratura} soprano Natalie Dessay} emerged on the international scene in the 1990s. A graduate of the Bordeaux Conservatoire, she took first prize in the Premier Prix de Concourse (First Prize of the Competition) in the France-Telecom Les Voix Nouvelles Competition, and then entered the Paris Opéra's training program for talented young singers, the Ecole d'Art Lyric (School of Lyric Art). There she sang Elisa in a production of Mozart}'s Il Rè Pastore}.

After winning the International Mozart Competition of the Vienna State Opera} in 1991, she received invitations for concert and recital appearances, most notably an all-Mozart} recital on the stage of La Scala} in Milan. She also made a recital recording with EMI Classics} of Mozart} arias} that was an extraordinary success.

Quickly engaged by major opera} houses around the world, she sang {%Blondchen} in Die Entführung aus dem Serail}, {%Madame Herz} in Der Schauspieldirektor}, Zaïde} (the title role at the Opéra de Lyon} and the Paris Opéra-Bastille}), {%Adele} (Die Fledermaus} in Geneva), and {%Zerbinetta} (Ariadne auf Naxos} in Lyon and at the Bastille).

In 1992, Dessay} debuted as {%Olympia} in Offenbach}'s Tales of Hoffmann}, and in 1993, she sang at the opening of the New Lyon Opéra}. In the same year she joined the roster of the Vienna Staatsoper}, with a triumphant performance as {%Blondchen}. She sang there in acclaimed production of Tales of Hoffmann} (again as {%Olympia}) with Plácido Domingo}, and as {%Sophie} in Strauss}' Der Rosenkavalier} opposite Anne Sophie von Otter}.

Another Strauss} opera} was the vehicle for her debut at the Metropolitan Opera} in New York in 1994, where she sang {%Fiakermilli} in Arabella}. In that year, she also added to her credits the {%Queen of the Night} (Mozart}'s Magic Flute}) in the Aix-en-Provence Festival, and the title role of Delibes}' Lakmé} at the Opéra-Comique} in Paris.

Dessay} enlarged the scope of her repertory} in 1996, singing Strauss}' rarely heard Die Schweigsame Frau} (The Silent Woman) on her home stage in Vienna, Stravinsky}'s Nightingale} at the Châtelet under Boulez}, and {%Ophelia} in Thomas}' Hamlet} at the Geneva Opera}. Since then she has added Berg}'s Lulu}, Offenbach}'s Orphée aux Enfers}, La Sonnambula}, Lucia di Lammermoor}, Massenet}'s Manon}, and {%Susanna} in Le nozze di Figaro} to her repertory.

Her recital album, Vocalise}, with Michael Schonwandt} conducting the Berlin Symphony Orchestra}, won a Diapason d'Or award and a Classique d'Or RTL in 1998. EMI}'s recording of Lakmé} with Michel Plasson} conducting and Dessay} in the title role won the award for French Recording of the Year at the Victoires de la Musique Classique. Other releases include Offenbach}'s Orphée} and a Mozart} aria} disc on Virgin}. ~ Joseph Stevenson, All Music Guide

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