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She progressed with extraordinary rapidity, completing five years’ worth of study in just one year and graduating with First Prize at the age of twenty.In 1989, after a brief period in the chorus of the Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse, she entered France’s first Concours des Voix nouvelles and won second prize.French coloratura soprano Natalie Dessay was born Nathalie Dessaix in Lyon in 1965. Dessay emerged on the international scene in the 1990s.
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 in Milan.
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, Eurydice in Offenbach’s Orphée aux Enfers in Lyon, and, in Paris, Morgana in Handel’s Alcina and the title role in Stravinsky’s Le Rossignol.
She has made a specialty of Bellini and Donizetti heroines, excelling in roles both comic (La Fille du Regiment) and tragic (Lucia).
Her performances in those roles were featured in Live from the Met Simulcasts in 20, respectively.
In 2017, Dessay released Pictures of America, her first English-language album, featuring a program of selections from the Great American Songbook.
With a background primarily in the French baroque, William Christie comes to Die Zauberflote from an angle quite unlike anyone else’s; yet nobody need be put off for this is as idiomatic and as deeply Mozartian a reading of the work as any in the catalogue.Another Strauss opera was the vehicle for her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York in 1994, where she sang Fiakermilli in Arabella.Also that year, she 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.Quickly engaged by major opera houses around the world, she sang Blondchen in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Madame Herz in Der Schauspieldirektor, the title role in Zaïde, Adele in Die Fledermaus, and Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos.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.Her latest released album, Clair de Lune/i, contains melodies by Debussy with Philippe Cassard at the piano.On 2012 fall, Haendel's Jules César at the Opera de Paris under the baton of Emmanuelle Haim is published by DVD.Her first appearances in La Sonnambula came in 2004 in Lausanne, Bordeaux, La Scala and Vienna (with Juan Diego Flórez) and her interpretation of Amina was recorded during concert performances in Lyon in November 2006 and released by Virgin Classics in autumn 2007.Her 2 CD and DVD compilations Le Miracle d’une voix, released in 2006, have proved an enormous success, selling over 250,000 copies, each documenting her prowess as a singer and as an actress.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).