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Natalie Dessay

© Bernard Martinez

Natalie Dessay

Natalie Dessay spent all her youth in Bordeaux, but was born in Lyon: is that why, when it comes to wine, she prefers Saint Joseph to Saint Émilion? Nobody knows what was put in her bottle as a baby, but it finally led her – after she had considered being a butterfly vet, a clown, Catherine Deneuve, a prima ballerina, a German-French translator and a member of the Comédie-Française – to become an opera singer.

For twenty-three years she travelled the world’s stages, serving Handel, Mozart, Strauss, Offenbach, Donizetti, Bellini and Verdi. After six Victoires de la Musique and the Laurence Olivier Award in London in 2008, she is very proud to have been the first Frenchwoman, in 2010, to receive the title of Kammersängerin from the Vienna State Opera.

In 2013 she decided to embark on a new life, leaving the operatic stage to sing French mélodies and German lieder with the pianist Philippe Cassard and continuing to perform roles. And so she began appearing as an actress in the spoken theatre. Even before that, in 2008, thanks to the example and inspiration of Michel Legrand, she had begun to tackle the world of chanson, and discovered another voice, deeper, gentler, more intimate.

In 2019, she joined Yvan Cassar, another magnificent musician who knows no borders, to record a tribute album to one of her favourite French singers, Claude Nougaro.

She is preparing a number of new theatrical shows for future seasons.

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