Intimate Conversation with Natalie Dessay

Organization French Institute Alliance Francaise (FIAF)
Hours Thursday: 07:00pm - 09:00pm

$20 FIAF Members; $30 Non-Members.

Address 22 East 60th Street, New York, NY, United States
Phone 212-355-6100
Start March 17, 2011
End March 17, 2011
Closed Sunday - Wednesday, Friday - Saturday

The French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF), New York’s premiere French cultural center, is proud to present the brilliant French soprano Natalie Dessay, one of the opera world’s brightest stars. In a special talk with dramaturg Cori Ellison, Natalie will speak about a broad range of topics from her childhood and love of French repertoire to her singing career and future ambitions. She will also share her thoughts on the state of opera today and tomorrow.

About Natalie Dessay

French soprano Natalie Dessay is one the stars of today’s operatic world, thrilling audiences as both a singer and an actress. Now an admired interpreter of bel canto and lyric heroines such as Lucia di Lammermoor, Marie (La Fille du régiment), Amina (La sonnambula), Pamina (Die Zauberflöte), Manon, Juliette and Ophélie (Hamlet), Dessay originally made her reputation with showpiece coloratura roles such as Offenbach’s Olympia, Mozart’s Queen of the Night and Strauss’ Zerbinetta,

In 1992 she sang her first Olympia in Offenbach’s Contes d’Hoffmann at Paris’s Opéra Bastille in a staging by Roman Polanski. The next year she was invited to the Vienna Staatsoper to sing Blondchen (Die Entführung aus dem Serail). In 1993 she was Olympia in the opening production for the rebuilt Opéra de Lyon and by 2001 she had performed the role in eight different stagings, including her debut appearance at La Scala. The 1990s also brought the Queen of the Night at Aix-en-Provence, Ophélie (Hamlet) in Geneva, Aminta (Die schweigsame Frau) in Vienna, Fiakermilli (Arabella) for her debut at the New York Met – followed by Olympia and Zerbinetta, Lakmé at the Opéra Comique. Conductors for these appearances included Pierre Boulez, James Levine, James Conlon, William Christie and Marc Minkowski.

In 2001 the soprano’s career entered a new phase when she realised a long-held ambition to perform Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, a role she subsequently sang in 2004 in Chicago, in 2006 at the Bastille in a powerful staging by Andrei Serban, and in a new production for the opening of the New York Metropolitan’s 2007-8 season on 24th September 2007, which was broadcast on a giant screens at Lincoln Centre and Times Square. More Donizetti, La Fille du régiment, provided a triumph for her in 2007 in Laurent Pelly’s witty staging in London, Vienna and New York. The British performances led to a Laurence Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Opera for Dessay, and to a Virgin Classics DVD which has proved an international bestseller.

In January 2011 she played Cleopatra in Handel’s Giulio Cesare at the Palais Garnier in Paris, and she recently returned to the Metropolitan for a revival of Lucia in Donizetti’s masterpiece Lucia di Lammermoor.*


*Seven performances of Lucia di Lammermoor between February 24 and March 19


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