Stéphanie d'Oustrac, mezzo-sopranoAs a little girl Stéphanie d'Oustrac, the great-niece of Francis Poulenc and great-great-niece of Jacques de la Presle (Prix de Rome composition), used to sing in secret for her own pleasure. Subsequent years with the Maîtrise de Bretagne children's choir, under conductor of Jean-Michel Noël, had a profound influence on her. Initially she had been attracted by the theatre, but when she heard Teresa Berganza in recital she realised the possibilities of opera and what it could mean for her.
After passing her Baccalauréat she left Rennes to join the Conservatoire National Supérieure in Lyon. Before she had even won a prize there, William Christie offered her the leading role - Medea - in Lully's Thésée, at the Académie d'Ambronay. This was a decisive meeting, and Christie followed up with the offer of Psyché in Les Métamorphoses de Psyché (Lully-Quinault / Molière-Corneille).
Her débuts were strongly marked by the world of the Baroque repertoire, and after her discovery by William Christie she worked with conductors such as Jean-Claude Malgoire, Gabriel Garrido and Hervé Niquet. During the same period she was also invited to play the jeune première and travesti roles of mainstream opera repertoire.
The quality of her diction rapidly won her a leading place among performers of the French repertoire. Her widely praised interpretations of Medea and Armide led her logically to Carmen: a role she first performed at the Lille Opera House in May 2010, and universally applauded by critics and public alike. At the same period her performances in La Voix Humaine (Royaumont Abbey, Toulouse) and La Dame de Monte-Carlo won her the definitive support of all lovers of Poulenc.
However, for Stéphanie d’Oustrac there is more to singing than her voice. An intensely role-oriented artist, her generous personality and perfect proportions enable her to assume the full range of feminine roles: the young girl, just entering womanhood (Zerline, Argie, Psyché, Mercedes, Callirhoé, Périchole, Belle-Hélène), the deceived and abandoned lover (Medea, Armide, Didon, Phèdre, Ottavia, Céres, Erénice, Elle), femme fatale (Carmen) or travesti (Nicklausse, Sesto, Ruggiero, Lazuli, Cherubino, Annio, Oreste, Ascagne)...
Through these different roles she has regularly had the opportunity for serious collaboration with prestigious directors, including Laurent Pelly (Belle-Hélène, La Périchole, Tales of Hoffmann), Robert Carsen (Armide), Jérome Déschamps (L'Etoile), Jean-Marie Villégier (Les Métamorphoses de Psyché), Yannis Kokkos (Giulio Cesare, Phaedra, Dido & Aeneas), Mariame Clément (Belle-Hélène), Vincent Vittoz (La Voix Humaine), David McVicar (Giulio Cesare), Jean-François Sivadier (Carmen), and choreographers Montalvo/Hervieu (Les Paladins), Christian Rizzo (La Voix Humaine).
Today her widely applauded voice and stage presence are recognised by leading conductors including Marc Minkowski, John Eliot Gardiner, Myung-Whun Chung, Alan Curtis, Christopher Hogwood, Jesus Lopez-Cobos, Alain Altinoglu, René Jacobs, Fabio Biondi, Claude Schnitzler, Giuseppe Grazioli, Jean-Yves Ossonce, John Nelson and Jean-Claude Casadesus.
She has made guest appearances in theatres all over France: Opéra National de Paris, Opéra Comique, Théâtre du Châtelet, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Opéra Royal de Versailles, the opera houses of Rennes, Nancy, Lille, Tours, Marseille, Montpellier, Caen, Lyon, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Avignon... She is equally appreciated abroad: Baden-Baden, Luxembourg, Geneva, Lausanne, Madrid (Teatro de La Zarzuela), London (Barbican), Tokyo (Bunkamura), New-York (Lincoln Center), Shanghai Opera, etc.
Stéphanie d’Oustrac also enjoys taking part in music festivals: Aix-en-Provence, Saint-Denis, Radio-France... In 2009 her performance in the role of Sesto (Giulio Cesare) at the Glyndebourne Festival was an immense success.
An eclectic artist whose talent is complete, an extensive and integrated whole; she regularly gives concerts of chamber music with ensembles such as Amarillis, Il Seminario Musicale, Les Paladins, La Bergamasque or Arpeggiata. She also appears in recitals, since 1994 mostly with her great friend the pianist Pascal Jourdan.
Stéphanie d'Oustrac has received several prizes: Prix Bernac (1999), Radios Francophones (2000), Victoires de la Musique (2002), and the Gramophone Editor's Choice for her Haydn CD (2010).
Her future projects include concerts with Amarillis, a re-run of Carmen in Caen, Berlioz's Cléopatre with the Age of Enlightenment orchestra in London, Poulenc Cocteau in Besançon and at the Théâtre de l'Athénée in Paris, a re-run of La Belle Hélène in Strasbourg, the role of Mère Marie de l'Incarnation (Le Dialogue des Carmélites) in Avignon, Cybèle (Atys) at the Opéra Comique, Sesto (this time in Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito) at the Opéra de Paris...
Stéphanie d'Oustrac is a fully rounded personality, an artist 100% committed to her roles, a woman who loves to give the audience everything her extensive talent makes possible - a return, she feels, for the riches she receives from her inspiring and exciting métier.
Satirino represents Stéphanie d'Oustrac for recitals only. For opera engagements please contact Thérèse Cedelle
Press revues"We had been eagerly awaiting Stéphanie d'Oustrac's first Carmen, .../... It was hard to believe this was her first appearance in the role, so accomplished was her performance."
"The mezzo-soprano Stéphanie d'Oustrac .../... was stunning in the strength and radiance of her performance in the iconic role of Bizet's heroine, overshadowing the memory of many of her illustrious predecessors."
"Let us begin by welcoming the birth of a great Carmen with whom we shall have to reckon."
"In La Voix Humaine, the drama is incandescent thanks to the superb performance, both vocally and theatrically, by Stéphanie d’Oustrac. Her voice is long and seems to make light work of the terrible difficulties presented by Poulenc. The high notes are sont admirably formed and effortlessly projected. This voice is beautiful voice in all registers. Cocteau's strong text is communicated with passion. The personage is as disarming, upsetting and annoying as one could wish. A grandiose performance from Stéphanie d’Oustrac!"
"In point of fact she lacks neither temperament nor troubled sweetness, thanks to her seductive mezzo and her irresistable outspokenness: Stéphanie d'Oustrac dominated in a spoken and sung role that includes two masterly airs: the farwell to Piquillo ("je t'adore"...), practically linked, - via a copiously vinous dinner inserted in the interval - to the second, just as marvellous: "Je suis grise"... In this kingdom of parody and brazen caprice, the artist develops her role with subtle cheek."
"Flattered by the staging and orchestration, the singers happily gave of their best. To start with, Stéphanie d’Oustrac successfully steps into the role of La Périchole. Her voice, which wins all hearts by its generosity and control (of vibrato, of legato), is blended with an exuberant presence forming a complete personality, devastatingly lovable in her Lettre d’adieu in the first act, and later in the key number “Tu n’es pas beau, tu n’es pas riche”."
"the vocal splendours of Stéphanie d'Oustrac, a variety of timbres, changing and beautiful like the colour of a great wine. "
"the young French mezzo is a singer marked “Arts Florissants”. A “quality” label that is today the guarantee of artistic talent, stage personality, culture and personal distinction, eclipsing all the conservatoire prizes and other academy or opera training distinctions! Launched at Ambronay in 1998 by her Médée (in Lully's Thésée), with Armide yesterday, Cybèle tomorrow (in the repeat of Atys, Salle Favart, in 2011), Stéphanie d'Oustrac does not confine herself to operatic tragedy, nor the baton of William Christie. Toulouse acclaimed her in Poulenc's La Voix Humaine, Lille will discover her in her first Carmen, (Bizet). As the last cradle song of her Haydn recital proclaims, “das leben ist ein traum”, this life is a dream!"
Repertoirewith Pascal Jourdan, piano
Song cycles :
Schumann : Liederkreis, op.39, Frauenliebe und leben, op.42, Marie Stuart lieder
Schoenberg : Brettl-lieder
Ravel : Chansons madécasses, Shéhérazade
Berlioz : Les nuits d’été
Poulenc : les fiançailles pour rire
Tailleferre : Six chansons françaises
Debussy : Cinq poèmes de Baudelaire, Fêtes galantes 1 et 2
Isolated melodies and lieder :
Schubert : about twelves lieder includding du bist die ruhe, die junge nonne, Gretchen am spinnrade
Schumann : about ten including Widmung, du bist wie eine blume
C. Schumann : seven lieder
Brahms : about 15 inclding von ewiger liebe, schwesterlein, alte liebe, sommerabend
Wolf : about 15 including extracts from the italianisches liederbuch
Liszt : a few lieder including die Lorelei, freudvoll und leidvol
Strauss : several including befreit, zueignung, die nacht, morgen
Poulenc : several including la dame de Monte-Carlo, les chemins de l’amour, à sa guitare
Chausson : la chanson perpétuelle
Duparc : several including la vie antérieure, soupir, l’invitation au voyage
and some works by Mendelssohn, Mozart, Debussy, Trillat, Wagner, Gershwin, Berlioz, Granados, Rossini, Berg…
with Aline Zylberajch, pianoforte- Haydn, Arianna a Naxos, Lieder & Canzonetta