Since her successful debut as Despina in Mozart’s Così fan tutte at the Salzburg Festival in 2020, the French-Italian mezzo-soprano Lea Desandre has strengthened her affinity with the Austrian composer from one season to the next. She debuted as Cherubin in The Marriage of Figaro at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence in 2021, and from that moment, she has performed at such prestigious venues as the Paris Opera, the Zurich Opera, the Liceu de Barcelona and the Lausanne Opera. Following the release of her first solo album for the Erato/Warner Classics label, Amazone, with Thomas Dunford’s Jupiter Ensemble, Lea Desandre also performed at the Berlin State Opera, the Philharmonie de Paris, Carnegie Hall, the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Bordeaux National Opera, the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, as well as the Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona.
She received great acclaim for her performance as Annio (La clemenza di Tito by Mozart) in 2021 at the Salzburg Whitsun Festival, performed with John Eliot Gardiner in Les nuits d’été by Berlioz and, as already mentioned, as Despina in Così fan tutte at the Salzburg Festival. Since 2015, Lea Desandre has excelled in many roles including the page Urbain (Les Huguenots by Meyerbeer) at the Grand Théâtre de Genève, Rosina (The Barber of Seville by Rossini), Dido (Dido and Aeneas by Purcell), Alcyone (Alcyone by Marais) at the Opéra Comique, Sesto (Giulio Cesare by Handel), Valletto and Amore (L’incoronazione di Poppea by Monteverdi) in Salzburg, and La Messaggera (L’Orfeo by Monteverdi) in New York and Washington.
At the age of twenty, Lea Desandre was discovered by William Christie. From then on, her career flourished and she was named Breakthrough Lyric Artist at the 2017 Victoires de la Musique Classique and nominated in the Lyric Artist category in the 2021 awards. Lea studied in Venice with Sara Mingardo and trained for twelve years in classical dance.
She has been invited to sing with prestigious conductors and musicians such as Gustavo Dudamel, Thomas Hengelbrock, Myung Whun Chung, Joana Mallwitz, William Christie, Sir John Elliot Gardiner, Enrique Mazzola, Raphaël Pichon, Marc Minkowski, Emmanuelle Haïm; and with directors such as Barrie Kosky, Christof Loy, Jan Lauwers, Lotte de Beer, Netia Jones, Jossi Wieler, Sergio Morabito, James Gray and Jean-Yves Ruf.
Concerts and recitals have taken her to concert halls all over the world, including Wigmore Hall, the Mozarteum in Salzburg, the Musikverein in Vienna, the Walt Disney Concert Hall (LA), the Théâtre des Champs Elysées, the Philharmonie de Paris, the Bordeaux National Opera, the Sydney Opera House, the Grand Théâtre de Genève and the Shanghai Symphony Hall.
She is very much involved in chamber music and performs regularly in concert with Thomas Dunford and his Jupiter Ensemble. Her musical versatility has also led her to appear in a one-person show (a pastiche by Rameau) at the Opéra Comique, as well as in the great Farinelli & Friends Gala at the Salzburg Festival, with Cecilia Bartoli.
Highlights of her recordings include her solo recital for the Erato/Warner Classics label, Amazone, with the Jupiter Ensemble (Erato, 2021), Barricades with Jean Rondeau and Thomas Dunford (Erato, 2020), Vivaldi with the Jupiter Ensemble (Alpha, 2019), Handel: Italian Cantatas with Sabine Devieilhe, Emmanuelle Haïm and Le Concert d’Astrée (Erato, 2018) and Cities with Thibault Cauvin (Sony, 2018).