French soprano Sandrine Piau was born in Paris in 1965 and trained as a harpist before embarking on a career as a singer. She is widely recognised as one of today’s finest baroque sopranos and works regularly with French-based groups in particular, including William Christie and Les Arts Florissant, Christophe Rousset and Les Talens Lyriques, and Emmanuelle Haïm and Le Concert d’Astrée. Notable recordings include Gabriel in Haydn’s The Creation with Paul McCreesh and the Gabrieli Consort on Signum, Messiah (in the 1754 version) with Hervé Niquet and Le Concert Spirituel on Alpha, and Purcell’s King Arthur with Christie, which won Gramophone’s Early Opera Award in 1996. Further afield, her operatic repertoire includes Tytania in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Soeur Constance in Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmelites, and Debussy’s Mélisande.
In addition to her distinguished career in early music, Piau is a passionate recitalist (particularly of mélodie) and often performs and records with the pianist Susan Manoff: their albums together include Evocation (‘a heavenly experience’ – BBC Music Magazine), Aprés un rêve (‘a sophisticated and fine artist at work’ – International Record Review), and Chimère, which was an Editor’s Choice for both Gramophone and Presto in early 2018.
Further Reading: Sandrine Piau
Katherine talks to the French soprano about her new disc of Mozart arias, out yesterday on Naive.