Belgian soprano Jodie Devos has died

Belgian soprano Jodie Devos has died
Belgian soprano Jodie Devos has died

A rich journey

Born in Libramont on October 10, 1988, Jodie Devos grew up in the small village of Lahérie (Neufchâteau), where her father is a duck breeder and producer of foie gras. From a very young age, she was passionate about music but also dance. “My parents always wanted me to have a varied artistic background,” she confided to Evening in 2019. “I took acting lessons with a real actor. The stage is therefore a place today where I feel comfortable. And I started dancing at 6 years old. The dance school gave me the flexibility of movement and relearned me how to sustain the breath: it’s something that, as a singer, I continue to work on. »

In 1999, she began musical training and studied piano then, four years later, discovered classical singing with Françoise Viatour at the Ciney Conservatory. A revelation. She then studied at the Institute of Music and Pedagogy of Namur with Benoît Giaux and Élise Gäbele – where she received “solid training which forged the foundations of (her) singing” – then obtained a Master’s degree in 2013. of Art at the Royal Academy of Music in London, in the class of Lillian Watson. The same year, she stood out in a production of The melody of happiness (musical direction Patrick Leterme, direction Xavier Elsen) in Charleroi.

But the real revelation came in 2014, the year when she made a sensational entrance onto the international scene by winning the 2e prize and the public prize during the Queen Elisabeth Competition. Setting the room ablaze and touching the audience to the heart, as she knew how to do so well. An event which, she admitted, “helped her a lot at the beginning. The media gives you unimaginable visibility. And very quickly, I was able to find very good agents. »

A meteoric rise

For Jodie Devos, a hard worker but also and above all a gifted artist, things then happened very quickly. Also in 2014, she joined the Académie de l’Opéra-comique in Paris where she participated in performances of the Bat and Musketeers at the convent. “It’s an extraordinary experience,” she said at the time. Evening. “We work a lot there but we meet extraordinary people. We work with top-class coaches and teachers. True specialists in a little-known genre: French comic opera. The operetta which conceals real treasures beyond the works of Offenbach. I discover real gems every day. »

But operetta will not be his only repertoire. Far from it since we will find it in the great classical repertoire, in the contemporary repertoire (notably We’re purging Baby! in 2022, the last opera by Philippe Boesmans) but also off the beaten track with jazz concerts. Its goal: “To make music loved by those who don’t know it.”

Her dazzling career will take her to the highest levels of opera as she tours the world (Germany, Holland, India, Canada, Poland, Brazil, etc.) with concerts and recitals. She notably sang Mozart under the direction of Leonardo Garciá Alarcón during the debut of the Millenium ensemble. We will find her at the Opéra de Wallonie in Rosine du Barber of SevilleEurydice d’Orpheus in hellSusanna Nozze di Figaro and Countess Adèle of Count Ory. Will work with conductors such as Christian Arming, Paolo Arrivabeni, Laurence Equilbey, Christophe Rousset, Mikko Franck, Emmanuelle Haïm, Louis Langrée, Marc Minkowski, François-Xavier Roth, Guy van Waas… in productions by David Bobbée, Romeo Castellucci , Paul-Émile Fourny, Denis Podalydès Claire Servais and Robert Wilson.

She will also specialize in 19th century French operas.e century where we find it in The Silver Stamp by Saint-Saëns, The Bloody Nun by Gounod, Lakmé by Delibes. The Queen of the Night, Magic flutebecame one of her favorite roles: she sang it in David Lescot’s production in Dijon, Limoges, Caen and at the Philharmonie de Paris, at La Monnaie but also at the Opéra-Bastille in Robert Carsen’s production.

Belgian roots still present

However, despite this irresistible international success, where she found real fulfillment and which made her one of the most popular singers of her generation, Jodie Devos, who lived in Paris, never forgot her roots. Belgians. She returned regularly to the Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège, and was scheduled at the Festivals de Wallonie and Gaume Jazz this summer. “The ORW is the theater where I did my best roles,” she confided to us in 2021. “I was lucky to have the trust of Mr. Mazzonis (the director of the ‘ORW, suddenly disappeared in February 2021, Editor’s note), who trusted me in 2015 and who scheduled me until 2023. Coming back every year, for important roles, for very beautiful productions, creates a very strong link with a theater. It’s an event that I absolutely don’t want to miss and I hope it continues for a long time! The Liège public is very warm and it is an opportunity for my family and friends to come and listen to me, even though they do not always have the opportunity to follow me across France. I often say that being here is a bit like being at home (smile). »

She also flourished on records (with Alpha), defending with panache the coloratura soprano register in an Offenbach record (Offenbach Coloratureunanimously acclaimed), exploring English melody (And Love Said…) or the French comic opera repertoire of the 19the In Lost jewelry, her latest solo record which retraces the journey of a young Liégeoise who left for Paris in the 1850s and who made an incredible career there. Like that of Jodie Devos herself…

“The record is really the place where I have carte blanche,” she told us in 2021. “I don’t want to make yet another Mozart record. I think it has already been done wonderfully by others. I have a genuine interest in recording rarities. I delve even deeper into this repertoire because there is everything to discover. Then I have this curiosity to go and find scores, to search… And to discover scores in libraries which have not been played for decades or even centuries. »

Read also
Soprano Jodie Devos: “Returning to the stage is an immense joy”

Research work that she rediscovered during the pandemic, a complex period offering her some perspective. “This period made me see things differently, pushed me to settle down and realize that not working 10 or even 12 months non-stop out of the year is quite pleasant too. It made me want to rethink my projects, to take more time. In fact, I realized that for six years (i.e. since 2014 and his second place in the Queen Elisabeth Competition, Editor’s note), I had not stopped for a single second and that I was starting to get a little overwhelmed. The covid break was beneficial in this regard for me. It allowed me to take a break and tell myself that five productions over the year is already very good! I was almost at seven last year… I’m also going to try to do fewer roles in a season. For the moment, each season, I only have roles taken. It’s exhausting and it’s a lot of work. I would like to be able to sing a few roles again and have two or three roles per year. »

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