​©2015 by  Sarah Defrise  all rights reserved.​  Photos Marie-Clémence David

IN SHORT

Sarah Defrise is a Belgian soprano. Her music education started at the age of four with the piano. After studying French literature at the Free University of Brussels (ULB), Sarah completed her masters degree (magna cum laude) in Singing at the Brussels Royal Conservatory then joined Daniel Ottevaere's class at the Ecole Normale de Musique Alfred Cortot in Paris, where she received her Concertist Diploma in 2016.

At 24 Sarah made her operatic debut at the Royal Opera House of Wallonia as Clorinda in Rossini's La Cenerentola and was reinvited to sing the Fairy in Viardot's Cendrillon,  Diana in Offenbach's Orphée aux enfers, Nannetta in Verdi 's Falstaff and Musetta in Puccini's La Bohème. Her other roles include Cunegonde (Candide, Bernstein), Serpina (La Serva Padrona, Mozart), Bastienne  (Bastien und Bastienne, Mozart), Frau Silberkland (Der Schauspieldirektor, Mozart), Tonina (Prima la musica e poi le parole, Salieri) and Bacchis (La Belle Hélène, Offenbach). Elected young revelation by the  Ghent Festival, she sang with José Van Dam a duet recital in October 2017 with the Flanders Symphonic Orchestra directed by Jan Latham-Koenig. Sarah was awarded the Best Performer 2018 prize at the Armel International Opera Competition for her performance of Calamity by Ben Johnston. Since 2016, Sarah is a PhD student in Music and Musicology at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (dir.: David Gullentops) and the Koninklijk Conservatorium Brussel (dir.: Jan Michiels).
 

IN FULL

Sarah Defrise is a Belgian soprano. Her music education started at the age of four with the piano. After studying French literature at the Free University of Brussels (ULB), Sarah completed her masters degree (magna cum laude) in Singing at the Brussels Royal Conservatory then joined Daniel Ottevaere's class at the Ecole Normale de Musique Alfred Cortot in Paris, where she received her Concertist Diploma in 2016.

PRIZES AND COMPETITIONS

Sarah has received a number of awards, including the Nany Philippart grant, the Young revelation Prize at the Vivonne 13th International  Competition,  3rd and Audience Prizes at the Bell'Arte, 3rd Prize at the New Tenuto. In 2016, she received the 1st Prize of Contemporary Melody at the Enesco Competition with the jury's congratulations. In July 2018, Sarah won 1st Prize at the Armel International Opera Competition in Budapest. Her performance was broadcasted live on Arte Concert.
 

MASTERCLASS

Sarah actively participated in masterclasses with Mrs. Barbara Hendricks, Sir Thomas Allen, Jean-Paul Fouchécourt, Sergei Leiferkus, Dietrich Henschel, Christianne Stotijn and Georg Nigl.

 

RECITAL WITH ORCHESTRA / CHAMBER MUSIC

Sarah regularly performs with orchestra. Elected young revelation by the Ghent Festival, she sang with José Van Dam a duet recital in October 2017 with the Flanders Symphonic Orchestra directed by Jan Latham-Koenig.. She sang with other orchestras such as the Royal Chamber Orchestra of Wallonia, The Chamber Orchestra of Toulouse, the Opera Orchestra of Liège, Sturm und Klang, the Royal Conservatory of Brussels Orchestra, Symphonia Assai, Orkest der Lage Landen, Dextuor, with conductors Jan Latham-Koenig, Bernard Delire, Thierry Huillet, Antoine Glatard, Wouter Lenaerts, Walter Proost, Thomas Van Haeperen and Flavien Boy. 

In July 2018, she created the soprano solo part in Thierry Huillet's Un requiem alongside Laura Tatulescu.

An outstanding recitalist, Sarah is also a regular chamber music performer. She has been invited as soloist to many festivals in Belgium and France (Festival de Sylvanès, Festival d'Auvers-sur-Oise, Rencontres Musicales d'Enghien, Ghent festival, Durbuyssimo in 2016; Eté Mosan, Soirées Musicales de Mont-Sur-Marchiennes, Concert de midi et demi de L'Université de Liège, Nantua, Correns, Canfranc, Madiran, or Estivales Lyriques de Wissant in 2017). 

Since 2016, Sarah is working with pianist Craig White on a Belgian and French 20th Century song repertoire.

OPERA

In September 2014, Sarah made her operatic debuts at the Royal Opera House of Wallonia where she sang Clorinda (Cenerentola de Rosssini) alongside Marianna Pizzolato, Bruno de Simone, Dmitry Korchak, Enrico Marabelli, Laurent Kubla and Julie Bailly conducted by Paolo Arrivabeni and staged by Cécile Roussat and Julien Lubek. She was then reinvited to sing the Fairy in Cendrillon de Pauline Viardot. Since then, she sang Bastienne (Bastien und Bastienne/Mozart) in a 2013 production with wind octuor Eugène Bozza, Artavazd Sargsyan, Alfred Bironien and Daniel Ottevaere; Serpina  (La Serva Padrona/Pergolesi) with Valentiana Orchestra and Daniel Ottevaere; Frau Silberklang (Schauspieldirektor/Mozart) and Tonina (Prima la Musica e dopo le parole/Salieri) for the 40th anniversary of the Eté Mosan with the Royal Chamber Orchestra of Wallonia (dir.: B. Delire); Diane (Orphée aux Enfers/Offenbach) at the Royal Opera House of Wallonie (dir.: Cyril Englebert); Musetta (La Bohème/Puccini) and Nannetta (Falstaff/Verdi) for the International Young Conductors Competition at the ROHW. She created the role of the Madman in La lettre volée by Denis Bosse for Ars Musica in 2017. In July 2018, she was Calamity Jane in Ben Johnston's Calamity Jane : letters to her daughter in the Théâtre de la Croix-Rousse in Lyon and at the Armel Opera Festival in Budapest for which she was awarded the "Best Performer Prize 2018". She will sing Bacchis (La Belle Hélène/Offenbach) at the National Opera House of Lorraine in Nancy in December 2019.

She sang Cunegonde (Candide/Bernstein) alongside Thomas Blondelle (title role), with the Candide Ensemble, conducted by Patrick Leterme at Flagey, PBA Charleroi and the Royal Opera House of Wallonia.

 

Sarah Defrise was truly remarkable. Her guise and her soprano voice are gorgeous. She sung the most difficult passages effortlessly with her cristal voice and was stylistically perfect in everything Johnston scored. With her acting, the piece was absolutely complete. We were not just beholders of a story, but part of the deeply tragic fate of the heroin, which could have been ours as well.

Varga Péter in Népszava

7 July 2018

on Calamity by Ben Johnston performed at MÜPA in Budapest

ARMEL INTERNATIONAL OPERA COMPETITION