Feb 23, 2008

Annick Massis

Late last night on France 3, Toute la musique qu'ils aiment was all about French soprano Annick Massis.

I had never heard an interview of her and I must admit the way she speaks and her gestures are surprisingly rural. I guess her middle-class origin can't be hidden when she stops singing and starts talking.

Anyway, she spoke about how her career started, and I had no idea she had a life before opera, spending 10 years (!) teaching in an elementary school before being discovered when she auditioned for Aix-en-Provence Festival first director Gabriel Dussurget when in her 30s.
With her new life beginning in the 1990s (first performances in Mozart in Toulouse), she admitted her personal life also took a new turn, as her first husband could not adjust to her new status and divorce was inevitable.

As she turns 50 this year, she is coming back to Mozart (Don Giovanni currently playing in Monte Carlo) and grew from the mistakes she made when she first started singing ; she told the reporter she thought beginning a career with Mozart now seems to her like an heresy, as one needs a good amount of vocal maturity to fully render the complex scores of pieces such as Don Giovanni (Donna Anna).

Her recent performances included Lucia di Lammermoor at the MET (last October) and last year's Princess Eudoxie in Halévy's La Juive at the Paris Opera (Bastille, review here) where she was sensational.

Her future engagements will consist of Les Pêcheurs de Perles (Leïla) in Trieste (Italy) in March, a role she sang many times, La Sonnambula (Amina) in Belgium and Salerno (Italy) and Lucia in Rome this summer (Terme di Caracalla).
She was very excited to also mention her role debut in the French version of Lucia, Lucie de Lammermoor in a concert version on March 8 in Amsterdam.

I know I'm not the only one thinking it's a shame she's not cast more often on French scenes, as her appearances since several years brought her to Berlin, Zürich, Japan, Belgium, even La Scala but on too few occasions here in her native country.


Anonymous said...

Is there a copy of this transmission available?

Extatic said...

I'm afraid not.
And I didn't record is either.