The French soprano, Agnès Mellon, joined in 1981 successively the Chapelle Royale, directed by Philippe Herreweghe, and Les Arts Florissants, directed by William Christie.
Agnès Mellon's career as a soloist has led her to sing under the direction of many noted conductors, such as: John Eliot Gardiner, Jean-Claude Malgoire, Ton Koopman, Gustav Leonardht, Sigiswald Kuijken and René Jacobs, to name a few. She has performed in the most prestigious venues as the Opéra de Paris, the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Salle Pleyel, Carnegie Hall in New York, the Concertgebow and the Opera of Amsterdam, as well as in several halls in Tokyo, and in most Europeans festivals. Some of her opera roles: Sangaride in Lully’s Atys (in Paris and Montpellier), Télaïre in Castor et Pollux by J.P. Rameau (in Aix en Provence), and Creüse in Médée by M.A. Charpentier.
With all that experience in hand, Agnès Mellon has founded in 1997 her own ensemble Barcarole, which specializes in the interpretation of Baroque chamber music for voice and instruments, including both sacred and profane works of infinite richness. The american harpsichordist Kenneth Weiss is her main collaborator for Barcarole. With her ensemble, she performs mainly in Europe. The first Barcarole recording, Déesses Outragées was released in 2005 by the label Alpha Productions (featuring cantatas by Clérambault, de Blamont and Courbois).
In addition to performing works from the Baroque repertoire, Agnès Mellon also gives recitals with pianist Christian Ivaldi. She has been accompanied, in her recitals of Lieder and French melodies by various other pianists: Claude Lavoix, Jean-François Heisser, Marie-Joseph Jude, Billy Heidi, François Kerdoncuff, Georges Pludermacher, François-René Duchable, and Laure Colladant with the pianoforte.
Agnès Mellon enjoys creating events that combine the best of different areas of the arts:
- She prepared a recital of Berlioz’ works with actor Alain Carré and pianists François-René Duchâble and Georges Pludermacher.
- As part of a retrospective exhibit of impressionist painter Berthe Morisot, she presented a recital of musical settings of texts by Mallarmé (who was a close friend of the artist’s) at the Musée de Lille.
- Recital-spectacles (staged by Mireille Larroche) with the pianist François Kerdoncuff: Esquisses de la vie d’une femme and, for young audiences, Chante-moi une histoire.
In 2005, she founded an association called Accanto (a play on words meaning “[singing] alongside”) to combine all her artistic and teaching projects.
Agnès Mellon’s impressive discography - which includes over sixty recordings - covers a large repertoire, from the great lyric tragedies of the Baroque era to French mélodie. In 2003, her recording entitled Maria, Madre di Dio with the Ensemble Arion (label early-music.com), was awarded Best album of the year - Early music (OPUS Magazine, Toronto, March/April 2004). A few titles of her discography: Rameau: Pygmalion, Castor et Pollux; Charpentier: Leçons de Ténèbres, Actéon, Christmas Oratorio, Médée; Monteverdi: Vespers, Madrigals; Lully: Atys; Purcell: Songs of Britannicus, Dido and Aeneas; Antonio Vivaldi: Incoronazione di Dario; Mozart: Mass; Boccherini: Stabat Mater; J.S. Bach: Cantatas, Messes brèves, Magnificat; Mondonville: Les Festes de Paphos; Boismortier: Les Quatre Saisons; Chabrier: Mélodies; George Frideric Handel: Marian Cantatas, St John Passion; Fauré: Requiem; Schütz: Motets; Gilles: Requiem.
Holder of a C.A. teaching certificate from Conservatoire de Paris, Agnès Mellon also devotes a great deal of time to another of her passions: teaching. She has participated in many master-classes (i.e. Italy), including those organized by the Académie de musique française de Kyoto (since 1997) and the CNSM de Paris.
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