The radiant Jodie Devos (1988-2024) was one of the greatest promises of opera

With a voice like a silver bell and her endearing appearance, Jodie Devos was one of the greatest opera promises of her generation. The Belgian soprano died on Sunday morning in Paris due to breast cancer. She was only 35 years old.

Devos was a coloratura soprano, a light voice that has no problems with absurdly high notes and complicated embellishments. Her voice was not only surprisingly soft, but also radiated warmth. She earned praise for iconic roles written for her voice type, such as Mozart’s Queen of the Night and Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor. When she took on the lead role in Liège in 2022 Lakme performed, it sounded as if Léo Delibes had adapted the famous bell aria to his voice.

Devos had a versatile repertoire. She was a brilliant operetta star and a sought-after concert performer. She made recordings of French and English songs and championed contemporary Belgian composers. Prominent baroque conductors such as Marc Minkowski, Christophe Rousset and Emmanuelle Haïm enjoyed working with her.

Prize winner fainted

Jodie Devos was born in Libramont-Chevigny, Wallonia. She discovered the joy of singing when she was 5 years old in a children’s choir. She was introduced to classical music during ballet lessons. She studied singing at the Institut de Musique et de Pédagogie de Namur and obtained her master’s degree at the Royal Academy of Music in London.

In 2014 she participated in the Queen Elizabeth of Belgium Competition, an important singing competition. She fainted in the preliminary round, but the jury gave her a second chance. She won second prize and the audience prize.

Shortly afterward he received a permanent contract with the Paris Opéra-Comique. There she replaced the star soprano Sabine Devieilhe. That Fledermaus by Johann Strauss. Successfully: invitations poured in to perform throughout France, and then in Germany, Belgium and North America.

Devos had a record deal with the French label Alpha. your album Offenbach staining It was filled with awards, including a Diapason d’or. ‘Charming and virtuous’, was the verdict Gramophonethe authoritative classical music magazine.

Although she had been ill for some time, Devos continued to perform when her health permitted, most recently on April 30 at the Théâtre des Champs Élysées in Paris, with the Les Siècles orchestra. The word “radiant” is often used to describe sopranos, but Devos really shined, not only vocally, but also because of her kindness and charisma on stage. Her untimely death represents a great loss to the opera world.

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