Baritone Laurent Naouri has had a long and varied career, with an exceptionally broad repertory ranging from the early Baroque to the modern era. He is a regular at the Opéra National de Paris and the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Naouri was born in Paris on May 23, 1964. Studying at the Ecole Centrale de Lyon, he decided to switch to music and moved to London to enroll at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He was already playing important operatic roles during and soon after his student years in London, including the Theater Director in Poulenc's Les mamelles de Tirésias, Ford in Nicolai's The Merry Wives of Windsor, and Ferdinand in Prokofiev's The Betrothal in a Monastery. Naouri's breakthrough came in 1992 when he sang the title role in Darius Milhaud's Christophe Colomb for the opening of the Théâtre Imperial in Compiègne, France. He went on to sing the role of Thésée in Rameau's Hippolyte et Aricie at the Palais Garnier Opera in Paris and has been frequently heard in major French opera houses in Paris and beyond. He has often sung Baroque opera, working with William Christie, René Jacobs, and other leading conductors in the field. Naouri made his debut at London's Royal Opera House in 2006 in the role of Escamillo in Bizet's Carmen, and his U.S. debut followed later that year at the Santa Fe Opera in the same role. Naouri has made numerous U.S. appearances, with appearances at the Metropolitan Opera through the 2010s. He was slated to appear at the Met as Capulet in Gounod's Roméo et Juliette in March of 2021. Naouri has been unusually prolific in mid-to-late career, with five appearances slated in 2020 before some were canceled due to COVID-19-related closures. His large repertory is part of the reason; it ranges from Monteverdi to Benjamin Britten and beyond. Naouri's recording career has included recitals of songs by Ravel and Fauré as well as operatic roles. He has recorded for the Naxos, Alpha, and Timpani labels, among others. In 2020, he was heard in the title role of the revival recording of Massenet's early comedy Don César de Bazan with the orchestra Les Frivolités Parisiennes. Naouri is married to soprano Natalie Dessay, and the couple has two children.
© James Manheim /TiVo
© James Manheim /TiVo
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Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released October 16, 2020 | Alpha
We are familiar with the flamboyant baritone Laurent Naouri, a distinguished exponent of the four villains in Les Contes d’Hoffmann from Paris to The Metropolitan Opera New York and an unforgettable Golaud in Pelléas et Mélisande. But here it is a much more intimate Naouri, the lover of mélodies by Fauré, Debussy and Poulenc, who invites us to a rendezvous: ‘Here is a repertory I’ve been performing for more than thirty years, sometimes not without a certain frustration: for how can you achieve the intimacy suggested by a poem like Baudelaire’s Le Jet d’eau – it almost pillow talk – when the vocal style forces you to “project” the voice? Although classical art song authorises you to sing piano or pianissimo, it’s still inconceivable to whisper in the listener’s ear. To whisper, you need a microphone, and there we leave the world of the mélodie and enter the world of “chanson”, as that term was understood at the beginning of the radio era. I had already been thinking about these questions for a few years when I met the jazz guitarist Frédéric Loiseau. We started off our collaboration with Les Berceaux, a "mélodie" that Yves Montand had already sung in a “chanson” style. Encouraged by the result, we looked for other songs that we felt could benefit from this intimate treatment’. © Alpha Classics
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