French-Italian mezzo-soprano Lea Desandre was 20 when she was awarded a place on William Christie’s Le Jardin des Voix Academy. In 2017 she was named Vocal Disovery at the Victoires de la Musique Classique Awards. She studied with Sara Mingardo in Venice and can also look back on a 12-year period of training as a ballet dancer.
Since 2015 Lea Desandre has been acclaimed in various roles, including Urbain (Les Huguenots), Rosina (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Annio (La clemenza di Tito), Sesto (Giulio Cesare), Dido (Dido and Aeneas), Messaggera (L’Orfeo), Flerida in Cavalli’s Erismena and the title role in Marais’ Alcione. She made her Salzburg Festival debut at Whitsun 2018 in Offenbach’s La Périchole under Marc Minkowski, returning that same summer as Amore and Valletto (L’incoronazione di Poppea) under Christie and at Whitsun 2019 for Caldara’s oratorio La morte d’Abel and for the gala concert Farinelli & Friends with Cecilia Bartoli. In the summer of 2019 she was heard as Vénus in Orphée aux enfers.
In 2018 she delighted her audiences at the Paris Opéra Comique in a fully-staged one-woman show, Et in Arcadia ego, with music by Rameau. Concert appearances and song recitals have taken her to London’s Wigmore Hall, the Vienna Musikverein, the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées and the Philharmonie de Paris, the Opéra National de Bordeaux, the Grand Théâtre de Genève, the Sydney Opera House, the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall in Moscow and Shanghai Symphony Hall. As a committed chamber recitalist she also appears regularly with the lutenist Thomas Dunford and his Jupiter ensemble. In addition to the above-named conductors, she has also worked with John Eliot Gardiner, Louis Langrée, Raphaël Pichon, Jordi Savall, Emmanuelle Haïm and Leonardo García Alarcón.
Lea Desandre’s CDs include Barricades with Jean Rondeau, Vivaldi with the Jupiter ensemble, Handel: Italian Cantatas with Sabine Devieilhe, Berenice, che fai? with Opera Fuoco and Cities with Thibault Cauvin.
Plans for 2020/21 include multiple roles in Hippolyte et Aricie at the Opéra Comique, Idamante (Idomeneo) at the Berlin State Opera, L’Amour (Orphée et Eurydice) in Versailles and Cherubino (Le nozze di Figaro) at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence. A concert tour celebrating the release of her first solo album, Amazones (Erato), will take her and the Jupiter ensemble to the Philharmonie de Paris, the Berlin Philharmonie, the Wigmore Hall and elsewhere. She will also be heard as Tamiri in a concert performance of Il re pastore at the Salzburg Mozartwoche Festival.