Episode 108. Christiane Eda-Pierre

Episode 108. Christiane Eda-Pierre



Today’s episode is a memorial tribute to the great Martinique-born French soprano Christiane Eda-Pierre on the first anniversary of her death. When this artist died on 6 September 2020 at the age of 88, I posted this episode as a bonus exclusively for my Patreon subscribers. Because a number of my listeners have inquired if I have ever devoted an episode to this artist, I have decided to release this episode to the general public. Researching Christiane Eda-Pierre was a journey of discovery for me, as I only knew the soprano’s commercial recordings and live performances from the Met. But believe me, there is so much more to this singer than this. From the French baroque repertoire through contemporary works dedicated specifically to her, Christiane Eda-Pierre brought extraordinary gifts: a voice of beauty and clarity, well-modulated from top to bottom, a near-perfect technique capped by a flawless trill, a profound musical sensibility, and a searing dramatic intensity that surprised me. I present excerpts from the full range of her repertoire, from Rameau and Handel in the Baroque period through the bel canto of Rossini and Bellini, to the glories of 19th century French opera, a genre that, in my opinion, represents her at her absolute best, to contemporary masterpieces written expressly for her by Charles Chaynes and Olivier Messiaen. It is my fervent wish that you find as much delight in this great artist as I have.

Countermelody is a podcast devoted to the glory and the power of the human voice raised in song. Singer and vocal aficionado Daniel Gundlach explores great singers of the past and present focusing in particular on those who are less well-remembered today than they should be. Daniel’s lifetime in music as a professional countertenor, pianist, vocal coach, voice teacher, and journalist yields an exciting array of anecdotes, impressions, and “inside stories.” Occasional guests from the “business” (singers, conductors, composers, coaches, and teachers) lend their distinctive insights. At Countermelody’s core is the interaction between singers of all stripes, their instruments, and the connection they make to the words they sing. At Countermelody’s core is the interaction between singers of all stripes, their instruments, and the connection they make to the words they sing. Please visit the Countermelody website (www.countermelodypodcast.com) for additional content including artist photos and episode setlists. And please head to my Patreon page at www.patreon.com/countermelody to pledge your monthly support at whatever level you can afford. Bonus episodes available exclusively to Patreon supporters are currently available.


Léo Delibes: Où va la jeune hindoue (Lakmé). Christiane Eda-Pierre, David Lloyd Jones, Radio Éireann Symphony [live Wexford, 22 August 1970]

Jean-Philippe Rameau: À la chasse, armez-vous! (Hippolyte et Aricie). Christiane Eda-Pierre; Jean-François Paillard, Orchestre Jean-François Paillard [1966 studio recording]

Olivier Messiaen: L’Ange Musicien [Excerpt from Act II, Scene V] (Saint-François d’Assise); Christiane Eda-Pierre, Seiji Ozawa, Orchestre de l’Opéra de Paris [World Premiere, Paris 28.11.1983]

Jean-Philippe Rameau: Malgré le Dieu des mers (Dardanus). Christiane Eda-Pierre; Raymond Leppard, Orchestre du Théâtre National de l’Opéra de Paris [1981 studio recording]

Charles Chaynes: Dans le bain cette voix (Erszebet). Christiane Eda-Pierre, Elgar Howarth, Orchestre du Théâtre National de l’Opéra de Paris [live, 1983, Opéra de Paris]

George Frideric Handel: Ah, mio cor! (Alcina). Christiane Eda-Pierre; Raymond Leppard, Scottish Chamber Orchestra [live, Aix-en-Provence, 1978]

In Dialogues des Carmélites

Benjamin Britten: Being Beauteous (Les Illuminations, Op. 18, No. 7). Christiane Eda-Pierre; Jean-Walter Audoli, Ensemble Instrumental Jean-Walter Audoli [1986 studio recording]

Maurice Thiriet (1906 – 1972)

Maurice Thiriet: Le Sphinx (Œdipe Roi). Christiane Eda-Pierre, André Falcon, Manuel Rosenthal, Orchestre National de l’ORTF [Radio France 5 January 1972]

John Pritchard (1921 – 1989)

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Padre, germani, addio (Idomeneo). Christiane Eda-Pierre; John Pritchard, San Francisco Opera Orchestra [live, September 1977]

Maria Ewing as Rosina

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: S’io non mori a questi accenti (Idomeneo). Christiane Eda-Pierre, Maria Ewing; John Pritchard, San Francisco Opera Orchestra [live, September 1977]

Gioacchino Rossini: Contro un cor (Il barbiere di Siviglia). Christiane Eda-Pierre; Gianfranco Rivoli, Orchestre National de l’Opéra de Monte-Carlo [1970 studio recording]

Vincenzo Bellini: Ah, s’io potessi dissipar le nube (Il pirata). Christiane Eda-Pierre; Leone Magiera, Wexford Opera Orchestra and Chorus [live, 1972]

As Lucia

Vincenzo Bellini: Ah, toglietemi la vita… Vien, diletto (I Puritani). Christiane Eda-Pierre, Robert Massard, Pierre Thau, Gianfranco Rivoli, Orchestre du Théâtre de l’Opéra de Marseille [live, 22 March 1974]

Jane Rhodes (1929 – 2011)

Édouard Lalo: Ô silence pour moi sublime (Le Roi d’Ys). Christiane Eda-Pierre, Jane Rhodes; Jean-Pierre Marty, Nouvel Orchestre Philharmonique [Radio France 14 March 1978]

Édouard Lalo: Cher Mylio (Le Roi d’Ys). Christiane Eda-Pierre, Jean Dupouy; Jean-Pierre Marty, Nouvel Orchestre Philharmonique [live, Radio France 14 March 1978]

Alfredo Kraus (1927- 1999) as Nadir

Georges Bizet: Ton coeur n’as pas compris le mien (Les pêcheurs de perles). Christiane Eda-Pierre, Alfredo Kraus; Jean Fournet, Orchestra of the Lyric Opera of Chicago [live 19 November 1966]

Jacques Offenbach: Chère enfant; Antonia’s Dying Trill (Les contes d’Hoffmann). Christiane Eda-Pierre, José van Dam, Francine Arrauzau; Jean Périsson, Orchestre National de France [live, Opéra de Paris 1978]

Charles Gounod: Écoute, ô Juliette! (Roméo et Juliette). Christiane Eda-Pierre, John Sandor, Antonio de Almeida, Orchestre de l’Opéra de Nice [live, March 1978]

Charles Chaynes (1925 – 2016)

Charles Chaynes, Aimé Césaire: Pour la libération (Pour un monde noir). Christiane Eda-Pierre, Jean-Claude Chazal, Gérard Lemaire; Gilbert Amy, Nouvel Orchestre Philharmonique [live, Radio France 14 June 1978]

With her late son Dominique Lacaze.

2 thoughts on “Episode 108. Christiane Eda-Pierre”

  1. Thank you so much for posting the beautiful photos of Christiane. Some I had not seen.
    I met Christiane many years ago. She was introduced to me by my daughter’s godmother and her family from Martinique. We became fast friends. When she performed in New York she was a guest in my home and when I performed in Paris I visited her and saw her performed at the Paris Opera. I really adored her. Thanks again for honoring her.

    1. Dear Barbara, It is and was my honor to pay tribute to this great woman, who was also your valued friend. Thank you for sharing your memories of her. I am so pleased that you enjoyed the photos that I managed to find. In choosing the musical selections for the podcast itself I tried to venture a little “off the beaten path” as well. All best, Daniel

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