Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Natalie Dessay Exits Opera Stage With A Bitter Vibe

The Examiner reports on the French soprano's plans to retire. She sounds in the article a bit put off by what has been an auspicious career. Read some highlights:

"In September, Natalie will be in Toulouse to sing Massenet’s Manon. It may be her last appearance on the operatic stage. 'Yes, I think so. I did my real 'debut' in Toulouse, in the chorus. I had started off as an acting student. That was my real passion. That is my real passion. It’s just a detour of thirty-three years—to finally get back to my first goal. There’s nothing left for me to sing. I’ve done most of the roles I could do. I don’t want to play Juliette. At my age? Please! Or Lucia or Adina or anything else like that. That’s why I’m quitting. You have to love your repertoire. For a while I thought it was fun, but no. On to something else.'

'Along the way,” I asked, 'who were the coloratura sopranos that inspired you?'
'There was no coloratura, because I hate that kind of voice. I never had any problem with the repertoire. My idol is, was, and will be Maria Callas. That’s not very original, but that’s it. Also Renata Scotto. I worked with her. She’s fantastic as a teacher. I like the actresses. I don’t care about the voice. A beautiful voice in a body that doesn’t act does not interest me more than five minutes. So, I’m not a good audience member for opera.' [Source]

A performance from 1995 of the soprano singing Lakme's "Où va la jeune Hindoue?" demonstrates that there was much to admire in her singing whether she loved it or not.

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