A loving flame


The 19th century, the era of Romanticism. Grand opera and comic opera dominate in France. If the first one questions the exercise of power, religion or the roots of civilization, the second one depicts a sentimental universe before progressively moving towards the lyrical drama.

The heroines of these operas evolve in a patriarchal society, where women are ready to make any sacrifice for their lovers. They evoke their love, their fears and their despair.
Cinderella expresses her fears on returning from the ball, obliged to hide from her in-laws and to flee alone in the dark, Catherine d'Aragon regrets her native Spain which she will never see again when she has just been repudiated. If Marguerite and Sapho suffer from having been abandoned by their lovers, Charlotte laments having had to reject the one she loves, and Chimène mourns her father, killed by her fiancé. Rachel, as for her, waits for Samuel, assailed by bad omens, while Balkis and Carmen sing their ardor...

Karine Deshayes, twice awarded at the Victoires de la Musique, interprets in this album the roles of these 9 female figures, from the operas of 6 French composers written between 1835 and 1899, who all have in common to have in their heart, "a loving flame".

1- Jules Massenet Cendrillon " At last I am here... ".
2- Camille Saint-Saëns Henry VIII " O cruel memory ".
3- Jules Massenet Le Cid " From this awful fight... Cry! Cry my eyes!... "
4- Hector Berlioz La damnation de Faust " d'Amour l'ardente flamme
5- Charles Gounod Sapho " Où suis je ?...Ô ma lyre immortelle " "
6- Jules Massenet Werther, Prelude
7- Jules Massenet Werther " Werther... Werther... Who would have told me the place... I am writing you from my little room " " Jules Massenet Werther
8- Jules Massenet Werther " Go, let my tears flow... ".
9- Fromental Halévy La Juive " He will come and with fear... ".
10- Georges Bizet Carmen " L'Amour est enfant de Bohême " " (Alternative air)
11- Charles Gounod La Reine de Saba " Me voilà seul enfin... Plus grand, dans son obscurité " (Alternative aria)

Release November 8, 2019 by Klarthe

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Karine Deshayes mezzo-soprano
Victor Hugo Franche-Comté Orchestra
Jean-François Verdier conductor
Chloé Van Soeterstède artistic director



Opéra Magazine "The Victor Hugo Orchestra and its artistic director, Jean-François Verdier, offer an ideal accompaniment from start to finish. A very, very great recording, indeed.

Diapason Magazine "Karine Deshayes] embodies here the great French style. [...] The accompaniment woven by Jean-François Verdier matches the tonality of the different excerpts."

Classica "At the head of the Victor Hugo Orchestra, Jean-François Verdier reveals himself to be a remarkable lyrical conductor, knowing perfectly how to support the voice without ever covering it."

Télérama "The Victor Hugo Franche-Comté orchestra not only provides the appropriate setting, but also a beautiful instrumental breath in the middle of the disc, with a long prelude to squeeze the heart, extracted, like the two arias of Charlotte, from the opera Werther.

ForumOpera "The credit also goes to Jean-Francois Verdier, at the head of the Victor Hugo Orchestra. The tempi, rather lively, avoid languor. The reading is careful to tend towards the transparency that is associated with French music, avoiding the reproach of pompierism often made against this repertoire."

Pizzicato "The singer is brilliantly supported by the Orchestre Victor Hugo under the direction of Jean-François Verdier.

La Vie "Under the baton of Jean-François Verdier, the orchestra plays with transparency, roundness and sensuality.

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