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La Dessay

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Natalie Dessay, Le miracle d'une voix (Greatest Moments on Stage) (released on January 16, 2007)
Natalie Dessay's new DVD, Le miracle d'une voix, was awarded DVD of the Year at last month's Victoires de la musique classique. Annick Cojean published an article (Natalie Dessay : la gouaille de la diva, March 1) in Le Monde, with some interesting perspectives (my translation):
"She is nothing less than superlative!," says conductor Emmanuelle Haïm. "When she has taken a role, other performances seem to fade away. I wonder if France realizes the artist that it has in her. Because she is stupefying, you know! And at least on par with Callas!" She could have turned out as an actress. Except for one thing, as she tells it: with no one going wild for her first attempts at Bordeaux's school of theater arts, crying out "It's the new Sarah Bernhardt!", she preferred to listen early on to the opinion of those who thought she had a nice voice singing in a Molière play.

So Natalie Dessay opted for singing -- in conservatory and with a private teacher, a former chorus member who became a butcher's wife -- and progressed so quickly that she did what takes others five years in just one, winning a gold medal. She was 20. "I had spent my adolescence torturing myself, wondering about what to do with my life. Be a dancer? German teacher? Actress? My parents were patient. Then, suddenly, I found it: singing! I was supposedly gifted, and I perceived that it was all there to discover, for the rest of my life! Cool!"
It's a kind of chatty article for Le Monde, and the writer is not a music critic, or so it seems to me.

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