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Chantal Santon-Jeffery (Soprano)

Born: Marseille, France

The French soprano, Chantal Santon-Jeffery, had graduated with a degree in political science, before she studied singing at the Conservatoire Supérieur de Paris with renowned teachers such as Margreet Honig, Noelle Barker, Udo Reinemann and Ruben Lifschitz.

Chantal Santon-Jeffery made her stage debut in 1999 in Der Freischütz (a bridesmaid) conducted by Myung-Whun Chung at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, where she has since performed in The Cunning Little Vixen conducted by Jonathan Darlington and L'occasione Fa Il Ladro conducted by Jean-Christophe Spinosi. Since 2001, she has regularly worked with the French national opera company ARCAL performing major roles in various productions. She also sang on stage Metella in La Vie Parisienne, Nérine in Charpentier’s Medee (conducted by Hervé Niquet), the title-role in W.A. Mozart's La Finta Giardiniera conducted by David Stern, Donna Anna in W.A. Mozart's Don Giovanni

In concert, Chantal Santon-Jeffery has performed an extremely varied repertoire, ranging from French Baroque to Verdi’s Requiem. Her love of contemporary music has led her to become involved in several world premiere performances in France, Germany, Wales, Italy, Belgium and Japan. French composer Fréderic Verrieres is currently composing a role for her based on Geena Rowlands's character in Cassavetes Opening Night.

Chantal Santon-Jeffery is considered to be one of the most inventive artists on the musical scene today. Her vocal technique – unanimously acclaimed for its perfection - allows her to take on a vast range of repertoires, spanning from the Baroque masters (Lully, François Couperin, Rameau, Purcell) through the Viennese classics to the geniuses of the 20th century (Debussy, Ravel, Dukas). Often acclaimed as one of the most accomplished French sopranos of the moment, praised for her "gloriously smooth, rich textured soprano" (The international Record Review), she has embodied numerous roles in the opera, from W.A. Mozart (Donna Anna, Fiordiligi, the Countess, Sandrina) to the contemporary repertoire (an unanimous press praised her Lolo Ferrari in the opera of the same name) including Wagner, (Senta in der Fliegende Holländer), Benjamin Britten (Governess in The turn of the screw), Campra (Tancrède), Gassman (Opera Seria) or Purcell (King Arthur, Dido and Aeneas).

Chantal Santon-Jeffery has worked with some of the most famous Baroque ensembles and conductors, including Le Concert Spirituel (Director: Hervé Niquet), Les Talens Lyriques (Director: Christophe Rousset), Le Cercle de l’Harmonie, Les Siècles (Director: François-Xavier Roth), Ensemble Matheus (Director: Jean-Christophe Spinosi), Orfeo Orchestra Budapest (Director: György Vashegyi), La Grande Écurie et la Chambre du Roy (Director: Jean-Claude Malgoire), Il Seminario Musicale (Director: Gérard Lesne), Les Arts Florissants (Director: William Christie), as well as with Opera Fuoco. She performs regularly with symphonic orchestras such as the National Orchestra of Lille, National Orchestra of Bordeaux, Brussels Philharmonic or Hong Kong Philarmonic, under the direction of François-Xavier Roth, Jonathan Darlington, Diego Fasolis or Jean-Claude Casadesus. She has sung with these artists at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées and the Salle Pleyel in Paris, the opera houses of Royal Opera in Versailles, Lille Opera, Avignon Opera, Montpellier Opera, Bordeaux Opera and Rouen Opera in France, Bozar in Brussels and the Opéra Royal de Wallonie in Liège in Belgium, as well as the Konzerthaus in Vienna and the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Fascinated by the revival of the classic and romantic French repertoire, she has participated in numerous concerts and recordings supported by the Fondation Bru Zane.

With the internationally acclaimed Il Seminario Musicale directed by Gérard Lesne, Chantal Santon-Jeffery has sung in numerous Baroque festivals. She recently sang the four soprano solo parts in Georg Philipp Telemann's Der Tag des Gerichts with Opera Fuoco at the Théâtre des Champs Elysées; a classical French opera recital with Martin Gester's Le Parlement de Musique; Johannes Brahmss’ Ein Deutsches Requiem and Haydn’s Nelson Mass in Paris; Boccherini’s Stabat Mater and various J.S. Bach’s cantatas in the Cité de la Musique. Her performances include Donna Anna in W.A. Mozart's Don Giovanni and Requiem at the Limoges operahouse; Donna Elvira in a touring production of Don Giovanni conducted by David Stern with whom she also sang Contessa in W.A. Mozart's Le Nozze Di Figaro, Eleonora in Salieri's Prima La Musica, Poi Le Parole and the title role in Dido And Aeneas; the lead soprano role in King Arthur by Purcell at the Montpellier Opera with Le Concert Spirituel conducted by Hervé Niquet. She also gives a number of regular recitals with pianist Ivan Coueffe singing Strauss, Wagner, Alban Berg, Franz Liszt, Debussy and Benjamin Britten.

Chantal Santon-Jeffery has recently sung two significant roles: Armida in the eponymous Haydn opera conducted by Julien Chauvin and directed by Mariame Clément; Altisidore in Don Quichotte chez la Duchesse of Boismortier, conducted by Hervé Niquet and directed by Gilles and Corinne Benizio. Further projects include productions at the Festival de Saint-Denis, Montpellier Opera, the Palace of Arts in Budapest, Konzerthaus in Vienna, Théâtre des Champs Elysées, Teatro la Fenice, Versailles Opera, Bordeaux Opera, Rennes Opera, Nantes Opera, Ambronay Festival, Arsenal de Metz...

Among her many recordings: King Arthur by Purcell (le Concert Spirituel, DVD), Frédégonde by d’Ollone and la Messe pontificale by Théodore Dubois (with the Brussel Philharmonic), Renaud by Sacchini (Les Talens Lyriques), Velléda by Dukas (Les Siècles, François-Xavier Roth), Les Bayadères by Catel (Musica Florea), Les Mystères d’Isis by Mozart Lachnitz and Les fêtes de l’Hymen by Rameau (Le Concert Spirituel), La Vénitienne de Dauvergne and Le Temple de la Gloire by Rameau (Les Agrémens), Tancrède by Campra… Her first recital recording comprised of arias by Purcell and Charpentier was recently published by label AgOgique. Recent recordings include La Dafne by Da Gagliano (title role) with Fuoco E Cenere, a French Baroque recital recorded live in Versailles with Gérard Lesne and Kraus’ Amphitryon under the baton of Werner Ehrhardt and the Missa Assumpta est with Le Concert Spirituel and Hervé Niquet. Chantal Santon-Jeffery currently lives in Paris, France.


Source: Chantal Santon-Jeffery Webs& Facebook profile; Budapest Festival Orchestra Website; HK Philharmonic Website (2012)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (February 2017)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Itay Jedlin


Video (2014): BWV 245

Links to other Sites

Chantal Santon-Jeffery - Soprano (Official Website) [French/English]
Chantal Santon Jeffery on Facebook

Chantal Santon Jeffery - Soprano | Biographie (Les Concerts Parisiens) [French]
Chantal Santon-Jeffery (Budapest Festival Orchestra)
Chantal Santon (HK Philharmonic)

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Explanation | Acronyms | Missing Biographies | The Sad Corner


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