Acclaimed Canadian contralto Marie-Nicole Lemieux sings the role of Charlotte for the first time at Opéra Orchestre National Montpellier.
‘Massenet always knew exactly what he wanted. When you look at a score by Massenet, he is almost as demanding of his performers as Verdi because he notes absolutely everything. In just two pages of the aria, Va, laisse couler mes larmes, he writes as many tips as possible for the singer and it is a real challenge to follow all these annotations. And as I am something of a 'good girl’ with a total respect for the score, I am often dissatisfied by certain editions which gloss over all these instructions. Massenet is very demanding in this way, and when you do everything as instructed, it works perfectly. Maybe he didn't trust his singers completely? We can for sure say that Massenet must have loved female voices passionately; just think of Charlotte, Manon or Cinderella!’ (Marie-Nicole Lemieux)