Natalie Dessay Claims No Opera Roles Left For Her To Sing Onstage
Dynamic Duo: Dessay (left) with recital and recording partner Philippe Cassard in a photo from their most recent release.
"French soprano Natalie Dessay gave a recent recital in London that one critic called 'sublime' and her latest CD of French art songs has been well received, but she says her fans will never see her again on the opera stage that made her famous. Dessay, the petite gamine of the French opera world, soared to fame as the mechanical doll Olympia in Offenbach's Tales of Hoffmann and scared the living daylights out of her male counterparts as the mad, knife-wielding Lucia in Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor. But at age 50, she says the opera is no longer for her. 'I have no roles anymore, I've done everything I could do and I don't want to repeat myself over and over,' Dessay told Reuters in an interview at London's Barbican....With opera behind her, Dessay is alternating song recitals, with piano accompanist Philippe Cassard, and tours with the French pop song and film composer Michel Legrand, but her real passion is for live theater. She recently starred in a French revival of the British playwright Howard Barker's dark, one-woman play Und, about a Jewish woman whose guest is overdue for tea, and who will not accept that the reason her house comes under a series of escalating malicious attacks is because the visitor is a German camp officer. She is looking for more such roles, but in the meantime she hopes her opera audiences will look out for her in the different venues where she will still be performing. 'It turns all the time around the same thing,' she said. 'How to make people travel with me, how to tell them stories in different ways.'" [Source]