Elise Lucet interviews soprano Natalie Dessay regarding her art. She explains her view that opera should be accessible to everyone.
Born in Lyon in 1965, Natalie Dessay studied singing in Bordeaux and in 1989 she entered the School of Opera in Paris. She debuted at the Bastille Opera as light soprano in theTales of Hoffmann by Offenbach, and this role of Olympia would remain her favourite role. Then a career began, which quickly became international with a repertoire that expanded ceaselessly: The Queen of the Night fromThe Magic Fluteby Mozart, Lakmé, Ophelia fromHamletby Ambroise Thomas, coloratura roles by Richard Strauss, then Stravinsky, Handel...
A vocal cord problem forced her to take several months rest, then she took up her artistic life again and enriched her repertoire with new roles, often dramatic ones likeLucia di Lammermoorby Donizetti. She sangManonby Massenet, Sonnambulaby Bellini. In 1997, she achieved stardom in New York with a new production ofLucia di Lammermoor.
Her numerous recordings, as much recitals as complete operas, met with success and awards. Natalie Dessay defines herself as a singing actress: her voice has a great ease in the high notes, and is still full and warm, which sums up the title of her last album well:The Miracle of the Voice.