Named “Female Singer of the Year” at the prestigious Opus Klassik 2022 awards, French-Italian mezzo-soprano Lea Desandre is one of the most inspiring talents of her generation. Her stagecraft and musicality have opened the doors to major international venues such as the Opéra de Paris, the Salzburg Festspiele, the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, Zurich Opernhaus and Liceu Barcelona.
Her remarkable career continues in 2023/24 with a season of debuts: Idamante Idomeneo in a new production at the Grand Théâtre de Genève, the title role in Charpentier’s Médée at the Opéra de Paris, Haendel’s Ariodante on a European tour, and Rameau’s Samson at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence.
She also gives the New Year’s concert at the Konzerthaus Berlin under the baton of Joana Mallwitz, Chasing Rainbows a tribute recital to Julie Andrews with Thomas Dunford/Jupiter; a team with whom she will be touring Europe in the summer of 2024 with the Vivaldi and Songs of Passion programmes. She is returning at Carnegie Hall and in the United States, as well as touring Japan and Europe to mark the release of her latest recording for Erato/Warner, Idylle, a duet with Thomas Dunford. Then, she will be Annio La Clemenza di Tito in a concert version at Festival d’Aix-en-Provence.
These projects build on her 2022/23 season: Stephano Roméo et Juliette at the Paris Opéra, Dido Dido and Aeneas in Madrid, C minor Mass at the Accademia Santa Cecilia, Haydn’s ‘Berenice che fai’ at the Muzikverein Wien, Cherubino Le Nozze di Figaro at the Salzburg Festival.
Cherubino, a role in which she has established herself internationally in 7 different productions since her debut in 2021: Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, Opéra de Paris, Salzburg Festival, Liceu Barcelona, Opéra de Zurich, Opéra de Lausanne, Ravenna Opera.
She has also appeared as Urbain Les Huguenots at the Grand Théâtre de Genève, Rosina Il Barbiere di Siviglia at the Rouen Opera, Amour Orphée and the title role of Alcione at the Opéra-Comique, Flerida Erismena at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, Messaggiero Orfeo at the Harris Theater Chicago. She sings regularly at the Salzburg Festival: Despina Cosi fan Tutte, Annio Clemenza di Tito, Valletto/Amore Incoronazione di Poppea, Venus Orpheus in the Underworld, Abel La Morte d’Abel.
Her love of music and text has led Lea Desandre to appear frequently in concerts and recitals at the Wigmore Hall, Vienna Musikverein, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Philharmonie de Paris, Berliner Philharmoniker, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Mozarteum Salzburg, Sydney Opera House, Opéra de Bordeaux, Alice Tully Hall NYC, Tchaikovsky Concert Hall, Shanghai Symphony Hall and Opéra de Versailles.
She has collaborated with international artists such as Gustavo Dudamel, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, William Christie, Myung-Whun Chung, Raphaël Pichon, Adam Fischer, Joana Mallwitz, Carlo Rizzi and Cristian Macelaru, Manfred Honeck, Enrique Mazzola, Marc Minkowski, Emmanuelle Häim, Jordi Savall – Barrie Kosky, Christof Loy, Netia Jones, Thomas Jolly, Lotte de Beer, Jan Lawers, Blanca Li, Jossi Wieler and Jean-Yves Ruf.
Lea Desandre studied with Sara Mingardo in Venice. In 2015, she joined William Christie’s Jardin des Voix Academy and the Mozart Academy of the Festival Aix-en-Provence in 2016. She was appointed « Revelation lyrique » at the Victoires de la Musique Classique in 2017 and won the HSBC Prize in 2018.
In addition to her training as a singer, she trained in ballet for 12 years.
Her first recording, Amazone, was released in 2021 exclusively for Erato Warner with the Ensemble Jupiter conducted by Thomas Dunford and Cecilia Bartoli, with Véronique Gens and William Christie as guests. Her second album, Eternal Heaven, recorded alongside Thomas Dunford, Iestyn Davies and Jupiter, was released in autumn 2022. Her third album, Idylle, a duet with Thomas Dunford was released in autumn 2023.