Sandrine Piau

French opera soprano (Issy-les-Moulineaux, 1965 - )

A precocious and versatile artist, soprano Sandrine Piau has established herself as a major figure in the Baroque repertoire and the French mélodie.

Sandrine Piau joined the choir school of Radio France (Maîtrise de Radio France) at the age of 10. The following year, she performed as Flora in Britten’s The Turn of the Screw under the baton of Julius Rudel. She started training as a harpist and was awarded the 2nd prize at the Paris Conservatory in 1988. In 1989, she attended a course in ancient music interpretation with William Christie. This encounter with Christie would prove to be crucial for her future career. Sandrine also sang with Jacqueline Morin, Denise Dupleix, Rachel Yakar and René Jacobs. She is best known for her collaboration with William Christie at the Aix-en-Provence Festival, where she performed in Purcell's The Fairy-Queen, and in Les Indes galantes and Castor and Pollux by Rameau. Once her career on tracks, she started to work with the greatest names in the Baroque repertoire: Christophe Rousset, Hervé Niquet, Fabio Biondi, Philippe Herreweghe, Gérard Lesne.

However, Sandrine Piau doesn't turn her back to the classical repertoire, interpreting Mitridate, The Magic Flute, The Clemency of Titus, The Abduction from the Seraglio by Mozart, and Der Freischütz by Weber, although she did not sing many 19th-century opera roles. On the other hand, she did not hesitate to cover 20th-century music with Pelléas and Mélisande by Debussy and A Midsummer Night's Dream by Britten. In addition, she addressed the field of lied and mélodie, fascinated not only by Debussy and Chausson, but also by Richard Strauss, Schoenberg and Zemlinsky; Sandrine has collaborated with artists such as Alexandre Tharaud, Georges Pludermacher and Jos van Immerseel.

6 landmark dates in the life of Sandrine Piau:

• 1975: Joins Radio France’s choir school

• 1989: 1st prize at the Paris Conservatory

• 2004: Recorded a recital by Handel with Christophe Rousset

• 2006: Named a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government

• 2009: Elected artist of the year at the Victoires de la Musique

• 2011: Recorded Le Triomphe de l’amour, a recital of French baroque arias

Biography from Radio France’s database