Since she was crowned “operatic revelation” at the 2011 Victoires de la musique classique, mezzo-soprano Gaëlle Arquez has sung at the most prestigious venues, especially in the Baroque repertoire. Before interpreting Isolier in Le Comte Ory by Rossini at the Opéra Comique in December 2017, she will appear in a recital dedicated to the French repertoire in duet with baritone Jean-Sébastien Bou on June 10th.
The ideal work to make people like opera: Don Giovanni, Rigoletto, La Bohême or La Traviata
The ideal work to make people dislike opera: a bad staging combined with a bad conductor would be the ideal mixture to make the most faithful music lovers flee.
Your favorite composer: Rameau, Mozart, I’m torn between the two.
The character you like to interpret: the roles of tragedienne.
The character you dislike to interpret: none. With a good conductor and a clever stage director, one can overcome most of the weaknesses of a libretto or a musical moment.
The heroine you’d like to embody in real life: none, women’s condition in society has somewhat evolved. I would not exchange my freedom for anything in the world.
The sound, the noise you like: the memory of my grandmother who hummed while cooking.
The female singer you most admire: Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Régine Crespin and Maria Callas.
The male singer you most admire: my grandfather.
The best language to sing: I like to defend the French language even though it’s not the easiest to sing.
The aria or the tune you sing while taking a shower: Cleopatra’s aria “se pieta” in Giulio Cesare by Handel.
An opera hero or heroine to govern France: maybe Cleopatra, a charismatic woman, a woman of character who loves her homeland, a woman born of crossbreeding.
Your favorite opéra comique: Carmen without hesitation! For a French mezzo-soprano of Spanish extraction who loves flamenco, Carmen is obvious.
The artist you’d have liked to meet: the three vocalists I already mentioned. And Claudio Abbado, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, among others.
The song you’d take on a deserted island: Michael Jackson’s album Bad.
The song you’re ashamed to sing: ashamed? I wouldn’t go that far but I like children’s songs a lot. By reflex or mimicry, I always end up singing songs with a little girl’s voice.
Your current state of mind: go, live and become.