Marie-Laure Garnier, contemporary soprano

When Renaud Capuçon, artistic director of the New Horizons festival offered to put his name on the poster for its third edition, Marie-Laure Garnier felt “as honored as enthusiastic”. Honored to be invited to participate in several concerts of the event and enthusiastic about the diversity of the repertoire that she will sing in the space of a few days. “I claim this eclecticism which allows me to approach very different aesthetics and to renew my approach to music. It is also a wonderful vocal exploration that is thus offered to me. »

The challenges of a vocal “big gap”

The principle of Nouveaux Horizons is to give carte blanche to young contemporary composers whose creations are associated with works from the repertoire. All the concerts are free, relayed moreover by France Musique and Arte which record and diffuse the entirety of the programming. For interpreters, this is a real challenge “because you have to put yourself at the service of the specific style of the pieces in a very short period of time”continues Marie-Laure Garnier, who recalls with a smile a “big gap” vocal.

“With Sivan Eldar (Israeli composer born in 1985, editor’s note)I’m in a kind of Sprechgesang (spoken-sung)while Fabien Waksman (French composer born in 1980, editor’s note) requires a very lyrical, even dramatic voice. Charlotte Sohy’s melodies deploy a romantic line and Brahms appeals to the low register of the voice. What a journey ! »

From flute to vocals

Born in Kourou, Guyana, Marie-Laure Garnier began by learning the transverse flute, followed by that of the piano and the organ. His voice is then exercised only within the choir of his school. It was to improve her level of flute that she chose to study in Paris: she was then 14 years old. A year later, the teenager joined the mastery of Paris where the exceptional qualities of her voice were quickly recognized. Singing then took precedence over instrumental practice, and Marie-Laure Garnier quickly established herself among the new lyrical stars. She won the first Voice of the Overseas competition in 2019, before being crowned two years later with the Victoire de la Musique, in the Lyrical Artist Revelation category.

Passionate about melody as much as the operatic repertoire, she and pianist Célia Oneto Bensaid form a refined and adventurous duo, as the Orsay-Royaumont Academy has discerned. “Our complicity is invaluable when it comes to tackling new scorescontinues the soprano. Along the way, we explore the contemporary repertoire which proves to be an exciting testing ground encouraging risk-taking. Audacity, in my opinion, is an integral part of the artistic vocation. This curiosity is also expressed in a desire to collaborate with other disciplines: “At the Musée d’Orsay, we have combined music and painting, but I also dream of encounters with the world of dance and theatre… The more I broaden my horizons, the happier I am!»

Wonder Charlotte Sohy

This thirst for new projects matches his sensitivity to transmission and “to the social and psychological dimension of music, which seems to me more essential than ever in our society in crisis”, assures the soprano. Transmitting is therefore, for Marie-Laure Garnier, both defending the repertoire of yesterday and today to the widest possible audience and helping to rekindle the flame around forgotten composers.

From one composer in particular, Charlotte Sohy (1887-1955), whom she will perform in Aix Three nostalgic songsaccompanied of course by Célia Oneto Bensaid. “With Célia and the Hanson String Quartet, we had the good fortune and the emotion of recording her works in the presence of her grandson. These are magnificent pieces, whose harmonies navigate between Wagner and Debussy. The enterprising Marie-Laure Garnier is delighted, “proud too”to help do justice to a creative “top-notch”.


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