“It’s simply not possible to listen to Patricia Petibon without gasping with admiration at her versatility, flexibility, musicality, virtuosity and sheer force of personality . . . Petibon has the ability to make this music so much part of her own persona that its antiquity is brushed aside in one extravagant sigh or inflexion of the voice . . .”
International Record Review, London, May 2010
The soprano Patricia Petibon was born in Montargis, France. Already interested in the piano and fine arts as a child, she earned a bachelor’s degree in musicology at the Paris Conservatoire and then went on to study singing there with Professor Rachel Yakar, graduating with a first prize in 1995. She was discovered by the acclaimed American conductor and harpsichordist William Christie and consequently often worked with his orchestra Les Arts Florissants, appearing with Christie at the Aix-en-Provence Festival, La Scala in Milan, the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires and the Wigmore Hall in London. Patricia Petibon has been awarded three Victoires de la musique classique – as “Best Young Talent” in 1998 and as “Best Opera Singer” in 2001 and 2003.
In 1996 she made a successful debut at the Opéra de Paris in Rameau’s Hippolyte et Aricie, and subsequently appeared in a variety of roles including Blonde in Mozart’s Die Entführung, Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos and Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier, Norina in Don Pasquale and Olympia in Les Contes d’Hoffmann. She has performed at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein, the opera houses in Lyon, Nancy, Toulouse and Strasbourg, following with debuts at the Opéra Bastille in Paris in Massenet’s Manon, the Zurich Opera as Blonde and the Vienna State Opera as Olympia and Sophie. In 2006 she made her role debut as Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro in Nancy and in 2007 she appeared as Olympia at the Paris Opéra Bastille and as Ginevra in Handel’s Ariodante in Geneva. Highlights of 2008 included Camille in Hérold’s Zampa at the Opéra Comique in Paris and the Duchess Carolina in the zarzuela Luisa Fernanda by Federico Moreno Torroba at the Theater an der Wien in Vienna alongside Plácido Domingo.
The soprano is frequently heard as a recitalist and has also performed numerous Baroque opera roles, including Phani and Zima in Rameau’s Les Indes galantes under William Christie at the Opéra Bastille, Dalinda in Ariodante conducted by Marc Minkowski and Amor in Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice under Sir John Eliot Gardiner at the reopening of the Théâtre du Châtelet. A particular success was her performance as Zelmira in Haydn’s Armida at the Vienna Musikverein, with Cecilia Bartoli and Nikolaus Harnoncourt. She has since worked frequently with Harnoncourt, appearing under his baton as Mademoiselle Silberklang in Mozart’s Der Schauspieldirektor in Salzburg and in Vienna’s Musikverein, Giunia in Mozart’s Lucio Silla at the Theater an der Wien, Angelica in Haydn’s Orlando paladino at the Styriarte Festival in Graz and Worldliness in Mozart’s Schuldigkeit des ersten Gebots in Vienna, Lucerne and Salzburg.
2009 saw Petibon in Handel’s Alcina in Milan’s La Scala, in Mozart’s Mitridate at the Theater an der Wien, as well as Despina in Così fan tutte at the Salzburg Festival. She presented a French Baroque programme with William Christie in France and London; Vivaldi and Handel in France; Haydn, Gluck and Mozart with the Basle Chamber Orchestra in Switzerland and Munich. In 2010 her appearances included the title role of Berg’s Lulu in Geneva, Barcelona and the Salzburg Festival, Carmina Burana in Munich under Daniel Harding, and recitals in Vienna, Geneva and Aix-en-Provence. Highlights of 2011 included Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites in Vienna and Mozart’s Mitridate in Munich as well as concert performances of Bernstein’s Candide with the Munich Philharmonic and Poulenc’s Gloriawith the Orchestre de Paris.
Petibon’s stage appearances in 2012 include Donna Anna in Don Giovanni at the Opéra Bastille, Susanna in Figaro at the Aix-en-Provence Festival and Gilda in Rigoletto at the Bavarian State Opera. Concert engagements include Ravel’s Shéhérazade with the Berlin Staatskapelle, Baroque arias with the Ensemble Amaryllis at the Festival d’Ambronay and her Spanish programme with the Orquesta Nacional de España in Madrid and Vienna. Plans for 2013 include Mozart’s Lucio Silla at the Barcelona Liceu plus concerts with her new baroque programme “Nouveau Monde” in Versailles and Geneva, Britten’s Les Illuminations in Munich, Les Martyres selon Saint Sébastian in Vienna as well as Mozart and Haydn arias in Copenhagen and recitals in Spain and Austria.
Patricia Petibon has been an exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist since 2008. Her debut album, Amoureuses – arias by Mozart, Haydn and Gluck with Concerto Köln and Daniel Harding –, was released in autumn 2008 and won 2009’s BBC Music Magazine Award for “Best Opera Album”. She is also to be seen and heard on the DVD A Mozart Gala from Salzburg, which features such renowned Deutsche Grammophon stars as Anna Netrebko and Magdalena Kožená. In 2010 Deutsche Grammophon released her Italian Baroque album Rosso with Marcon and Carmina Burana from Munich under Harding. Her releases in 2011 included Melancolia, an album of Spanish arias and songs with Josep Pons conducting the Spanish National Orchestra, which they took on an autumn tour of France and Spain in 2011, and (on DVD) her acclaimed interpretation of Berg’s Lulu in Olivier Py’s production, filmed live at the Liceu in Barcelona. 2012 sees the release of Nouveau Monde, Baroque arias and songs from England, France, Spain and Latin America, with Marcon directing La Cetra.