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Guillemette Laurens (Mezzo-soprano)

Born: 1950 - Fontainebleau, France

The French mezzo-soprano, Guillemette Laurens, was born to musicians parents. She began to learn music very early at the Academy of Toulouse, where she received prizes in musical theory, piano and chamber music.

At the age of 18, Guillemette Laurens joined the Opera-Studio and made her debut at Salle Favart in Paris a few years later in the role of Baba the Turkish in Igor Stravinsky’s The Rake's Progress. She formed part of the roster of the Lyric Workshop of the Rhine before entering to Les Arts Florissants of William Christie. Since 1980, she sang on the major musical stages of Europe, as well as the USA, Colombia, Israel, South Africa and Japan. She interpreted there oeuvre of roles, as The Nose by Dmitri Shostakovich, Dido and Aeneas by Purcell, Atys by Lully, I Puritani by Bellini, Clemenza di Tito by Mozart, L’Orfeo and L’Incoronazione di Poppea by Monteverdi, the Mass in B minor (BWV 232) by J S. Bach, L’enfance du Christ by Berlioz. She sang at the Festival of Aix-en-Provence in Iphigénie en Aulide, with John Eliot Gardiner, and Towards Bach concert series on London's South Bank.

Guillemette Laurens has worked with renowned ensembles: La Petite Bande directed by Gustav Leonhardt, La Chapelle Royale (Philippe Herreweghe), Les Arts Florissants (William Christie), Concerto Vocal (René Jacobs), Capriccio Stravagante (Skip Sempé), Il Giardino Armonico and Sequentia.

In 1998, Guillemette Laurens interpreted the role of Pénélope of Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria de Monteverdi at Kunsten Festival des Arts in Brussels. This production, carried out in collaboration with Hand Spring Puppet Company produced by William Kentridge and directed by Philippe Pierlot, was acclaimed thereafter in Vienna, Berlin, Amsterdam and Zürich. In 1998 she also participated in the recording of Musiche by Bellerofonte Castaldi (world premiere) with Vincent Dumestre caused enthusiastic criticisms. In August 1999, she sang the role of Idonia in La Catena d’Adone by Mazzocchi within the framework of the Festival of Innsbruck under the direction of the lutist Konrad Junghänel.

Recordings: Monteverdi's Vespers with Philippe Herreweghe; Atys and Il Ballo dell'Ingrate, conducted by William Christie; J.S. Bach's Mass in B minor (BWV 232), with Gustav Leonhardt; Charpantier's Le Malade imaginaire, conducted by Marc Minkowski; Diana in Iphigénie en Aulide, under John Eliot Gardiner; Labels include Harmonia Mundi, Erato and Deutsche Grammophon.

Source: Mozart Festival Website, English translation by Aryeh Oron (August 2001); International Who's Who in Music & International Directory (13th Edition, 1992/93)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (August 2001, November 2005)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Diego Fasolis


BWV 53, BWV 170, BWV 1083

Gustav Leonhardt


BWV 232

Links to other Sites

Biographie : Guillemette Laurens (Mozart Festival) [French]

Guillemette Laurens - mezzosoprano (Studio Musica) [Italian]

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Explanation | Acronyms | Missing Biographies | The Sad Corner


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Last update: Monday, May 29, 2017 11:18