rare concert pianist who loves being an accompanist to opera singers.
(It is no exaggeration to state that one can count with the fingers of one hand the concert pianists alive today who genuinely enjoy accompanying singers - Andras Schiff, Vladimir Askkenazy and, of late, Alfred Brendel.... Can you name others?)
Jean-Yves' passion for opera began with Montserrat Caballe ("my first diva"); and his "musical conversations" with singers began in recital with Brigitte Fassbänder...
Jean-Yves saw his first opera at 14, "hopelessly falling in love with Montserrat Caballe". (Definitely not your average teen-ager!) He has been hooked on the art form ever since. To have accompanied the great Spanish diva with the velvety coloratura voice would have been the thrill of his young life. But as the peak of her career preceeded his by many years, it was not to be. (Caballe, now retired from the operatic stage, still gives an occasional concert or recital. "Would he accompany the diva in recital if he were asked today?", we asked. "Yes" was Jean-Yves' ready reply.)
But it is a passion he could later indulge. For many years in his early career, he played numerous recital tours with the renowned German mezzo-soprano Brigitte Fassbänder. They have also made two recordings together. Jean-Yves says the experience with Fassbaender has taught him many lessons that apply as much to the art of piano playing as to the art of singing. - how to do a legato, how to breathe, how to shape a phrase. And, as will soon be seen, opera is a passion he continues to indulge ...
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