Dominique Visse

The Ensemble Clément Janequin, direction

Dominique Visse began his singing career at the age of 11 as a chorister in the Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris. At the same time he began studying the organ and flute at the Versailles Conservatory. Already passionate about Renaissance and Mediaeval music, in 1976 he met the grand pioneer of the countertenor voice, Alfred Deller, and became his pupil. He also worked with Nigel Rogers, René Jacobs and William Christie.

In 1978 Dominique Visse founded the Ensemble Clément Janequin with whom he has made a series of benchmark recordings of French polyphonic chansons of the 16th Century. The following year he became one of the founding members of Les Arts Florissants and edited much of the ensemble’s repertoire in its early years. Since that time, Dominique Visse has become one of the most popular lyric artists in the world of Baroque opera, working with René Jacobs, Jean-Claude Malgoire, Philippe Herreweghe, Ton Koopman, William Christie, Alan Curtis, Nicholas McGegan, Christophe Rousset, Ivor Bolton, Robert King, Harry Bicket and Emmanuelle Haïm in the opera houses of Paris, Berlin, Cologne, Amsterdam, Lausanne, Tel-Aviv, Montpellier, Houston, Barcelona, Munich, Versailles, at the Monnaie in Brussels, at the Théâtre du Châtelet and the Théâtre des Champs Elysées in Paris, The Royal Opera House in London, on tour in Japan and North America, and at the Festivals of Glyndebourne, Aix en Provence, Innsbruck and Edinburgh. His most memorable appearances include productions of Cavalli’s Calisto, Handel’s Giulio Cesare and Agrippina, and Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea.

Dominique Visse does not limit himself to Baroque and early repertoire. He has sung in Offenbach’s Les Brigands, directed by Jérôme Deschamps and has recorded the role of La Marquise in Poulenc’s Gendarme incompris for Decca directed by Charles Dutoit. He sang the role of Oreste in Offenbach’s La Belle Hélène staged by Herbert Wernicke at the Festival of Aix en Provence and revived in Salzburg. He also frequently performs contemporary music and has participated in Luciano Berio’s opera Outis at La Scala in Milan and at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, Perela, l’Homme de Fumée by Pascal Dusapin at the Opéra de Paris, La Frontière by Philippe Manoury at the Bouffes du Nord in Paris, and Kagel’s Mare Nostrum with Jean-Claude Malgoire and in a production with the Péniche Opera.

His forthcoming opera productions include Charpentier’s David & Jonathas at the Festival d’Aix en Provence with William Christie and Les Arts Florissants, with revivals in the Paris Opéra comique, the Théâtre de Caen and the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Bontempi’s Il Paride with Christina Pluhar in the Innsbruck Festival, L’Anfiparnaso / Gianni Schicchi with Jean-Claude Malgloire at the Atelier lyrique de Tourcoing and on tour in France, La Dispute, a new work by Benoît Mernier at La Monnaie in Brussels, and a revival of Giulio Cesare at the Paris Opera with Emmanuelle Haïm.

As well as his work in opera, Dominique Visse continues to perform and record with his Ensemble Clément Janequin that celebrated its 30th birthday in 2008 and whose extensive harmonia mundi discography has won numerous prizes. He also gives recitals with lute, or piano & accordion, of music ranging from Machaut to Berio via Dowland, Schubert, Offenbach, Massenet, Satie, Poulenc and Takemitsu. He has made more than fifty recordings, principally for harmonia mundi, most recently the Ensemble Clément Janequin’s L’Écrit du Cri with music from the Renaissance to the present day. His recording Parole e Querele d’Amore with Agnès Mellon was recently released on the Zig-Zag label. In 2012 his recent Dowland recital recording with the celebrated English viol consort, Fretwork, and the French lutenist Eric Bellocq, will be release by Satirino records.