When Sophie Koch lets herself be “carried away” by Alban Berg

the essential Mezzo-soprano Sophie Koch will open the recital season at the Théâtre du Capîtole, this Thursday evening, alongside Bertrand Chamayou. We will find her in November in “Wozzeck”.

Sophie Koch has been cultivating her garden in Aude, in the countryside, between Castelnaudary and Villepinte for 17 years. The conversation begins at the end of lunch, a day of great sun and still summer heat. The singer has just happily bite into cherry tomatoes picked on her property. Around her, the lantanas are still bright “and the persimmons are getting ready”, she announces with relish. Sophie Koch is delighted to take advantage of this magical environment. And just as much to resume a busy professional life which will lead her in particular, in the coming months, to La Scala in Milan for “Ariane à Naxos”, by Richard Strauss.

The German composer is also on the program (with Berg, Stravinsky and Debussy) of the recital that Sophie Koch will give this Thursday evening at the Théâtre du Capitole. “I like this repertoire of melodies and lieder composed between the late 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, explains the mezzo-soprano. This period was very rich in all areas; we feel that the world was then changing. . Musically, there was a great permeability between the artists. Ravel was fascinated by Strauss; the influence of Wagner was very strong on the French composers. In 1907, flagship year, Berg and Stravinsky multiplied his works; Baudelaire’s poems were given in public for the first time. “

Sophie Koch particularly likes this repertoire for “its lyricism, which emphasizes the voice so much”. And to specify: “the musics carry us away, give us goosebumps. As for the texts, they are just as captivating, with sometimes, in Stravinsky, a humorous note and in Berg, a sulphurous side which marries an impressive depth.”

A “sensual” pleasure that the singer will share, on the stage of the Capitol with the pianist Bertrand Chamayou, whom she knows well, and for years. “When you work with people of this size, there is an immediacy, an understanding that speaks volumes. You find yourself very quickly; you are instinctively in harmony.”

The audacity of “Wozzeck”

Alban Berg, Sophie Koch will find it in a completely different register, from 19 November, still at the Capitol, in the opera “Wozzeck”, with the character of Marie, “prostitute on which fate persists “, which she will perform for the first time. “At first, I was a little afraid of the range that the role requires, from low G to counter sharp. In this work, Berg’s writing is new, moving away from the supposedly artificial side of the opera for go more widely towards the theater. There is a lot of daring in this process. You have to accept being surprised, as I ended up doing too. “

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