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Natalie Dessay began as an actress. Born in Lyon in 1965, she studied at the Conservatoire of Bordeaux and became a member of the Chorus of the Theatre du Capitole de Toulouse. Her first role as a soloist was Barbarina in Le Nozze di Figaro by Mozart in Marseille (May 1989). In 1992 Natalie Dessay sang her first Olympia in Offenbach's Tales of Hoffmann at the Opera Bastille. In 1993 she joined the Vienna State Opera for one year. In July 1994 Natalie Dessay sang her first Queen of the Night at the Aix-en-Provence festival. She stated many times that she didn't like this part because it was too short and uninteresting, even though she sang it in 6 different productions. In January and February 1995, Natalie Dessay sang Lakmé at the Opera Comique. She continued singing new roles as a soprano leggero coloratura (Eurydice, Ophélie, Amina, Zerbinetta...) but at the beginning of 2000, she faced her first vocal problems. Natalie Dessay stopped singing several times and finally abandoned her highest notes for other, more lyrical ones that she considered more interesting: Lucia di Lammermoor, Juliette, Mélisande, Manon and Pamina.

Natalie Dessay sings more and more in the States, especially in New York where she has bought a flat. She lives near Paris with her husband (bass baritone Laurent Naouri) and their two children, Seima and Tom Solal.

(updated January 9. 2007)