Natalie Dessay has won the Laurence Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Opera for her performance in La Fille Du Régiment which ran at the Royal Opera House from 11 January to 1 February 2007.
Dessay’s performance in the revival of Donizetti’s jaunty military comedy received universal acclaim and cemented her position as one of the leading talents in world opera. Dessay played the part of Marie, the tomboyish heroine who has an entire military battalion in place of parents. According to Tim Ashley in The Guardian: “Dessay gives the performance of a lifetime. A remarkable theatrical animal, she acts as well as sings.”
Born in Lyon, France in 1965, Dessay was originally interested in ballet and theatre before her singing talents were discovered. After training at Paris Opera's Ecole d'Art Lyrique, Dessay made her professional debut as Olympia in Roman Polanski’ production of The Tales Of Hoffman. Since that breakthrough performance, Dessay has starred in successful operas in New York, Vienna, Paris, Santa Fe and London.
This is Natalie Dessay’s first Laurence Olivier Award. Her triumph in this category came at the expense of Gerald Finley and Angelika Kirchschlager (nominated for their performances in Pelléas Et Mélisande) and David McVicar (nominated for his direction of both Turn Of The Screw and Agrippina).
The award for Outstanding Achievement in Opera was presented by arts broadcaster Petroc Trelawny.