Les Orages Désirés, 
opéra de Gérard Condé, sur un livret de Christian Wasselin, 
Commande de Radio-France, crée en 2004 à la salle Olivier Messiaen
rôle d’Hector Berlioz,
Opéra d’Avignon, mars 2009

«Soprano solaire»

      Bruno Villiem

     

«...L’abattage incarné d’Anne Rodier dans le rôle travesti d’Hector...»

Pierre-René Serna


SCENES MAGAZINE

«Le jeune Hector était incarné avec passion par Anne Rodier à la voix chaude et à la diction parfaite...»

Philippe Gut


L’HEBDO

« L’ouvrage est un réceptacle pour belles voix: La soprano Anne Rodier dans le rôle du jeune Berlioz a séduit par son espièglerie et son beau timbre sans faille»

Toni Di Troia


LA MARSEILLAISE

Lakmé 

opéra de Léo Delibes,

mise-en-scène de J-L Pichon, direction de L.Campellone

Opéra de Saint-Etienne, 2007

rôle d’Ellen

L’Ormindo, opéra de Cavalli, crée en 1644, 
mise-en-scène de Dan Jemmett, 
Ensemble Les Paladins, direction : Jérôme Corréas,
Opéra de Reims, Opéra de Rennes, Opéra de Massy en 2007
rôle de Sicle

«On citera d’abord Anne Rodier, parfaite d’espièglerie, d’enthousiasme et de mélancolie en Hector travesti, dans la grande tradition des Chérubin, des Octavian, et ,bien sûr ,des Ascanio de Benvenuto Cellini.»

A.Rodet

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Interviews

By Christian Wasselin

Anne Rodier, an incredibly lyrical soprano


She has performed in Venezuela and all across Europe, she delighted audiences at “La Nuit Blanche” in Paris in 2007, she steps with ease into the shoes of Pauline Viardot: Anne Rodier is as much an actor as a singer and will be taking to the stage at the end of the year in La Belle Hélène in Marseille before playing Purcell’s Dido from January to next May/June at venues throughout the Parisian region (and also in Luxembourg and Portugal). A meeting with an artiste whose talent lights up the path less trodden.


Anne Rodier, how did your singing adventure begin?


I have always sung. My father is an organist and choir master. He was the director of the Pueri Cantores children’s’ choir in Bédarieux, near Béziers, at the time when I sang in the choir. Aged five I began playing the piano and dancing (both of which I studied for twelve years), and I followed my father everywhere: to practices, to concerts, to services where he played the organ. Thus, as a young child, I knew by heart Bach’s Cantata 140, Palestrina’s Motets and the entire Liturgy! However, having passed the Baccalaureate in advanced science and obtained a Masters Degree in classics (on the subject of “The voice of the statue in 19th Century fantasy literature”); I was more set on an academic career.


Did your father’s example not convince you to join a choir?


Yes, of course, and whilst I was at preparatory school (first and second year humanities) I belonged to the choir of the universities of Montpellier. I even performed solo soprano in the Stabat Mater by Poulenc without having taken a single singing lesson!  I then passed the entrance examination for Montpellier Conservatoire, where I spent two years. One day, when I was singing Vivaldi’s Gloria in Sète (southern France), a friend of a friend, who was in the audience encouraged me to audition in front of Rachel Yakar, who was a teacher at the National Superior Conservatoire of Paris. I recall singing to her Vivaldi’s motet “In furore”. Rachel Yakar said to me: “You certainly have a voice, but you should learn to sing.” That was in May 1996. On her advice I became a pupil of Anne-Marie Rodde at the Conservatoire of the 9th arrondissement in Paris and at the National School of Music in Issy-les-Moulineaux. I arrived in Paris with two suitcases, found a studio flat near the Bastille, and for three years worked as an usher at Paris Opera House, which funded my studies until I achieved all my awards. You wouldn’t believe how many shows I was able to watch every evening for those three years! I also took part, one fine day, in a master class led by Régine Crespin, who pointed me in the direction of Denise Dupleix, with whom I worked for three years. The final milestone in the educational period of my life was in 1999 when I won the Award for French Melody (Grand Prix de Mélodie Française) at the International Singing Competition in Clermont-Ferrand, also known as the Mady Mesplé prize. Meeting Mady was a very important event in my life. It was she who said to me when I was singing mezzo parts: “But you are a lyric soprano!” Today, around ten years later, my voice is changing: it is becoming more sombre in nature, with more substance, smoother in a way…

Let’s go back to the year 1999: with victory in a competition come commitments…


Indeed, following the competition I performed a recital at Clermont-Ferrand Opera House, then I sang in The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein, I was the Second Lady in The Magic Flute (with the ensemble Carpe Diem), finally I sang the part of Eurydice in Gluck’s Orpheus at the Festival Berlioz in La Côte-Saint-André, under the auspices of Françoise Masset.


How did you learn to move on stage, to act?


Mady Mesplé encouraged me to take acting lessons with Joelle Vautier at the Conservatoire of the 10th arrondissement in Paris. Acting, obviously, brings a multitude of colour to the voice, a different breathing pattern, what I would call a state of being. It would be extremely dreary to only produce or listen to great but purely technical works! In this respect, an important event for me was standing in unexpectedly, for a performer who was ill, to play the role of Carmen in a version for small orchestra, rewritten by the composer Benoît Louette. Eva Saurova, who was Peter Brook’s Carmen in La Tragédie de Carmen encouraged me to audition and made me work. And I got the part. All very well, but I had to go to Caracas eight days later! Full of panic, I learnt the entire part, went there and ended up performing this Carmen one hundred and fifty times first in Venezuela, then in Montreal and then throughout Europe. And the singer who had initially been selected for the part never returned.


Carmen can be a soprano or a mezzo…


The voice of a mezzo gives the character more sensuality, that of a soprano more freshness.  But Carmen remains, in any case, a score on a human scale, with certainly very rich instrumentation, but also a very light orchestra during the airs.


Singing the same role one hundred and fifty times: what effect did such a tour have?


Doing one hundred and fifty performances provides ample opportunity to create a troupe spirit, to examine the performance in greater detail. But such a tour is also double-edged: when you are on tour for several months you aren’t available to attend auditions and expand your repertoire.


It would appear that you enjoyed going off the beaten track…


Yes, such experiences are typical of my career path! After all, I never applied to the CNSM de Paris (Paris Conservatoire), I didn’t make my name on the traditional circuits, I self-taught myself. The way in which my career evolved was the logical consequence of this. Other doors would have opened for me had I gone to the Paris school of opera singing or Cnipal (National Centre for Lyrical Artistes). On the contrary, I had the opportunity to do several original pieces, such as Médée by Sergio Ortega, or in 2009 the first staging, at Reims and Avignon Opera Houses, of Des Orages Désirés, an opera by Gérard Condé about a young Berlioz plagued by his torments, a role created six years previously by Françoise Masset in concert version for Radio France.


Which shows had an impact on your early career?


I would say Pagliacci a show by Arcal, which also toured a lot! The role of Nedda is not unrelated to Carmen and I enjoyed playing the role of this woman - a child of the theatre. Then there was The Marriage of Figaro in which I sang the part of Susanne. But also Cavalli’s Ormindo with Les Paladins conducted by Jérôme Corréas and directed by Dan Jemmett; I played the role of Sicle, a lover full of malice who wins back her fickle prince. And then there is the peculiar show, Paraboles, which I also directed, which was performed for the first time at the Nuit Blanche Festival in Paris in 2007 and then throughout Europe. As it’s name suggests, the show uses six satellite dishes, each nine metres in diameter, which act as projector screens for videos by Julien Tarride; in the middle is another satellite dish (only!) six metres in diameter with a moving ball in the centre: the seventh planet, which is where I am, I turn, swing, twirl and enter into polyphony with my six clones.


Do you have any role models?


From a vocal perspective, Véronique Gens. Musically and with regards to diversity of repertoire and “all round talent”: Mireille Delunsch, with whom I will soon be working as Bacchis in La Belle Hélène at Marseille Opera House, under the direction of Jérôme Savary. But also Régine Crespin, Maria Callas of course and Pauline Viardot, who gave me the idea of doing a show in the form of a recital.


Other than La Belle Hélène and this show, what upcoming dates for the diary can you give us?


The posthumous premiere performance of a song cycle by Daniel-Lesur: Les Dialogues imaginaires, on the 11th March in Paris, along with a cantata by Jean-Jacques Werner, Instants pour ne plus dire; La Voix Humaine (The Human Voice) in 2012; and in between the two the continuation of the tour of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, under the musical direction of Jean-Marie Puissant and directed by Denis Chabroullet, which will continue throughout the winter and next spring.


Ideally, which roles would you most like to play ?


Blanche de La Force, for the love of Poulenc (my favourite composer along with Mozart), Elettra in Idomeneo, Vitellia in La Clémence de Titus, Ottavia in The Coronation of Poppea…

Jilted lovers ?

I have a sense of drama !


Website: http://annerodier.com

Tour dates :

 La belle Hélène : 21, 23, 26, 28, 29 and 31 December at Marseille Opera House (+33 (0)4 91 55 11 10, opera.marseille.fr).
 Dido and Aeneas : 8 January in Meaux, 14 January in Fontenay, 21 January in Villejuif, 29 January in Ermont, 8 February in Colombes, 5 April in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, 17 and 18 May in Sénart, 20 May in Cergy-Pontoise. Outside France: 16 February at Théâtre d’Esch-sur-Alzette (Luxembourg), 3 and 4 June at Centro cultural Vila Flores de Guimaraes (Portugal), 10 and 11 June at Teatro Viriato de Viseu.