Marlène Assayag - Soprano

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After studying the piano and recorder, Marlène Assayag turned her attention to singing, when she was cast in the title role of Nicolas Bacri’s Fleur et le miroir magique, at the age of just 14.

She has been a prize-winner in many prestigious competitions, winning 1st Prize at the UFAM Competition, 1st Prize and the Audience Prize in the Concours International Symphonies d’Automne in Macon, the Schola Cantorum Prix de Concert, Prix de la Mélodie in the Concours UPMCF, the Interpretation Prize at the Concours Armel Opera Competition in 2015 and 3rd Prize at the Concours de Marmande in 2016.  She was also a member of CNIPAL in the 2012-3 season.

Her operatic roles include Norina  Don Pasquale, Elvira L’italiana in Algeri, Louise Le Nègre des Lumières by Chevalier de Saint-George, Prima Donna in Donizetti’s Viva la Mamma, Carolina Il Matrimonio Segreto, Anna Nabucco and La Fée Cendrillon.  Further performances have included appearances at the Festival de Saint-Céré, at the Opéra de Massy and in Clermont-Ferrand, Fribourg and Lausanne in the roles of Donna Anna Don Giovanni and Prince Caprice in Offenbach’s Le Voyage dans la Lune.  She has also sung Queen of the Night Die Zauberflöte in Marseille, Budapest and Orléans.

An experienced oratorio singer, her performances include Mozart’s Requiem and Exsultate Jubilate, the Vivaldi Gloria and his motet In Furore, Handel’s Messiah, and both the Pergolesi and Boccherini Stabat Mater.  She has also worked several times with the Matheus ensemble, directed by Jean-Christophe Spinosi, singing Romilda in Handel’s Xerxes, the Fauré Requiem, Beethoven Symphony no. 9, Teti in Rossini’s Le Nozze di Teti e Peleo, Adele in Le Comte Ory and Aminta in Il Re Pastore.

She began the 2016-7 season in London and at the Opéra de Nice for two productions of Die Zauberflöte as the Queen of the Night, followed by performances as le Feu, la Princesse and le Rossignol in L’Enfant et les Sortilèges, as well as Gilda Rigoletto with Opéra Nomade.  She also made her debut at the prestigious Philharmonie, Paris as Konstanze in an adaptation of Die Entführung aus dem Serail, a role she has also performed at the Opéra de Clermont-Ferrand.  Last summer, she was the recipient of an award from the Foundation Royaumont, which gave her the opportunity to work on the role of Nanetta Falstaff with Jean-Paul Pruna and Georges Lavaudant.

In 2017-8, she sang at the Grand Théatre de Compiègne, at the Festival Chaise-Dieu and at the Aix-en-Provence Festival, in a show about the letters between Richard Strauss and his librettist, Hugo von Hofmannstahl, as well as performing Schoenberg’s Quartet no. 2 with the Arod Quartet.  She has also recently sung Mozart’s C Minor Mass at the Eglise Saint-Louis-en-l’Ile in Paris.

Most recently, she sang Queen of the Night Die Zauberflöte in a new production at the Opéra de Fribourg, and she will shortly make her debut at the Opéra National de Lorraine in Nancy as La Fée in Massenet’s Cendrillon.

For The Magic Flute/Queen of the Night in Fribourg

“Le rôle de la Reine de la Nuit est souvent hautement critique pour qui s’attaque à cette page archi connue et si souvent caricaturée. Ici, la soprano Marlène Assayag empoigne son « O zitt’re nicht, mein lieber Sohn ! » » avec une véhémence et un aplomb vocal impressionnant. Lorsqu’on sait les difficultés de cet air, on craint toujours la fausse note. Rien de tel avec Marlène Assayag. Elle tient son personnage. Autant vocalement, avec une diction impeccable, que théâtralement. Elle a l’aisance de l’évidence, se permettant, là où tant d’autres interprètes campent l’immobilité, de traverser la scène à grandes enjambées, de secouer Pamina, de gesticuler avec son manteau tout en chantant les plus périlleuses vocalises. Elle récidive avec le même bonheur dans le stratosphérique « Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen. »”

ResMusica, 4th January 2019