BIOGRAPHY

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As a mezzo soprano with a distinct timbre, Astrid Defauw has positioned herself as a specialist for the baroque and the contemporary repertoire. While she continues to sing this music, she realized lately that her voice also feels comfortable with the Verismo period roles, as well as by composers such as Wagner and Verdi, and she is starting to explore these.

In the more recent past, she has sung the Alto Solo in the Petite Messe Solennelle by Rossini in Versailles under the baton of Silvio Segantini in April 2022; Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro with the Internationale Stiftung zur Förderung von Kultur und Zivilisation on a tour in South Germany, and has been a part of the new production of the Bayerische Staatsoper's Die Teufel von Loudun by Krysztof Penderecki under the baton of Vladimir Jurowski.  In 2020, Astrid was one of the twelve Soloist Choir singers in the world première of Seven Deaths of Maria Callas in the Munich Staatsoper, staged by Marina Abramović, with music by Marko Nikodijevic and conducted by Yoel Gamzou.

During the 2018-2019 season, Astrid covered the part of Vanina at the Prinzregententheater's production of L'Ancêtre by Camille Saint-Saëns; sang Babaricha in Tsar Saltan at the Isny Opernfestival; Dvorak's Stabat Mater, Arnalta in L'Incoronazione di Poppea by Claudio Monteverdi with the Barock Vokal Mainz; Pergolesi's Stabat Mater with the Junge Philharmonie Köln; Rossini's Stabat Mater in Versailles; Mendelssohn's Elias, Vivaldi's Gloria, and others.
Next to her great interest in contemporary music, Astrid’s passion for baroque music has lead her to perform with the New Baroque Times Ensemble in Brussels, and at the Chapelle des Minimes in Brussels, where she explored the repertoire of Bach Cantatas. Since 2018, Astrid has also been a member of the the Barock Vokal Ensemble in Mainz.

In August 2016, Astrid interpreted the title-role in the opera Carmen at the Trentino Music Festival, under the baton of Christopher Larkin from the Washington Opera, and staged David Gately.Astrid made her Italian debut with the role of Hänsel in Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel in 2015 at the Trentino Music Festival conducted by David L. Jackson. She also performed the part of Hänsel in the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp’s production at DeSingel. Astrid performed the part of La Badessa in Puccini’s Suor Angelica conducted by Elaine Rinaldi with the Music Academy International.


In 2014, Astrid was invited to sing the part of Alto solo in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, conducted by Volker Hartung both at the Philharmonie of Cologne, and the Philharmonie of Essen.
Astrid performed the part of the Recitant in La Damoiselle Élue by Claude Debussy, accompanied by the Antwerp Conservatory orchestra and choir, with Stephanie Friede as the Damoiselle.
Astrid’s operatic performances have included the roles of Grimgerde in Die Walküre with the Norwegian National Opera; Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro at DeSingel Antwerp; Dorabella in Così fan tutte with the Laboratoire Lyrique Nei Stëmmen in Luxembourg, under the baton of Enza Ferrari (Scala di Milano); Dido in Dido and Aeneas with the Young Philharmonie Köln; The Mother in Auber’s La Forêt Bleue at the Royal Opera of Liège; the First Alto in the contemporary opera The House of the Sleeping Beauties by Chris Defoort in Antwerp.


Born in Nice, France, at the Mozart Hospital, it was the midwife who already foresaw Astrid's future by recognizing the  volume of the baby's voice, and making fun comparing it to an opera singer's voice! Even as a toddler, Astrid was mesmerized by operas she watched on television and DVDs, often over and over again. Astrid started her music studies with harp and choir at the Conservatoire National de Nice. She continued with vocal studies at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels, and at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome under the tutelage of Anna Maria Ferrante. In 2016 she graduated with great distinction from the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp, where she studied with the wagnerian Soprano Stephanie Friede, in parallel with lessons with Abbie Furmansky in Berlin. Astrid has recently moved with her family to The Hague, Netherlands.


 

 

Directors

David Jackson (Metropolitan Opera)

Michael Hofstetter (Berliner Staatsoper, Bayerische Staatsoper, Giessen Theatre)

Christopher Larkin (Washington National Opera, NYC Opera)

Volker Hartung (Junge Philharmonie Köln)

Magnus Loddgard (Norvegian State Opera)

Michael Schneider (La Stagione, Camerata Köln)

Coaches

Enza Ferrari (Scala di Milano)

Paul Plummer (Royal Opera House)

Peter Nilsson (Dutch National Opera Amsterdam)

Sophie Raynaud (Bayerische Staatsoper)

Daniel Sarge (Wien Staatsoper)

Masterclasses

Dolora Zajick

Mara Zampieri

Trish McCaffrey

Jeanne-Michèle Charbonnet

Abbie Furmansky

Kai Wessel

John Norris

Christoph Prégardien

W. Stephen Smiths

Lionel Peintre

Nicolas Courjal

Nadine Denize

Stage directors

Marina Abramovic

David Gately 

Arild Helleland

Guy Joosten

Patrizia di Paolo

Stany Crets

Kristina Wuss