Mireille Deguy
Professional biography of Mireille Deguy
Mireille Deguy

After obtaining a Master’s in the Fine Arts at the University of Aix en Provence, Mireille Deguy studied voice with Juliette Bise in Lausanne, and enrolled at the Opera Studio in Biel, Switzerland and then at the Ecole de Chant de l'Opéra in Paris.She uses her voice, which knows no boundaries, in the most varied spheres of music. Her career started in 1983, when she sang in the creation of a piece by Félix Ibarrundo at the Centre Acanthes at the Aix en Provence festival. As a member of the Opéra de Lyon from 1985 to 1988, she sang in the Marriage of Figaro by Mozart, l’Etoile by Chabrier, conducted by John Elliott Gardiner, interpreted Agricola Barbaruccio in Johann Strauss II’s Night in Venice conducted by G.Schnitzler, a blind man in "la grotte d'Ali" by M.Foster conducted by A. Minck.

Her enthusiasm for small music ensembles led her to participate very actively in the creation of the Nouvel Ensemble Vocal, conducted by Henri Farge. She interpreted a very mixed repertoire, ranging from early music by Gésualdo, Monteverdi, Palestrina, etc. to contemporary composers such as Stravinsky and Bério. She continued in the same vein with other ensembles such as Accentus or Soli-Tutti with which she participated in the creation of a number of works and went on international tours.

Various French and foreign operas invited her to interpret e.g. Rosette in Massenet’s Manon at the Opéra Comique de Paris ,Véronique in Bizet’s Docteur Miracle at the Opéra Comique de Paris, Marcelline in Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro at the Opera Bastille in Paris, Lady Thiang in Rodgers’ The King and I at the Théâtre Royal de Wallonie, Mercedes in Bizet’s Carmen, Dame Marthe in Gounod’s Faust, Miss Page in Verdi’s Falstaff, etc.

She has participated in many oratorios and recitals (with songs by Berlioz, Moussorky, Duparc, Debussy, Brahms, Wolf) at the Opéra de Paris, in San Francisco, Milan and Brussels. She has been employed at a number of festivals such as the Festival de Saint-Bertrand de Comminges, where she sang motets by Couperin with Michel Chapuis playing the organ or the Festival of Melle where she sang with the clarinettist, Paul Meyer.

She spent many years together with the composer Gérard Grisey, and made inroads with him into hither unexplored areas of the voice. Her taste for experiments and her openness induced her to participate in a number of creations by such composers as Gérard Zinsstag, Philippe Leroux, Kaia Saarahio, and Marc.André Dalbavie, who dedicated their compositions to her. She also interpreted Boulez, Grisey, Stravinsky, Bério and Ligeti at the festival Musica in Strasbourg, Manca in Nice, Witten, at the Cite de la Musique, at the Maison de Radio-France, and at various festivals in Germany, Belgium, Luxemburg and Milan.


Since learning to sing, Mireille Deguy has been fascinated by the pedagogy of the voice, and early on listened to the courses of such renowned singers as Magda Fonay, Juliette Bise, Christa Ludwig, Denise Dupeix, Michel Senechal, Lorraine Nubar, Gabriel Ferro and Régine Crespin. She perfected her voice training with Ronald Keklamp and Margreet Honig. As early as during her studies in Aix en Provence she took to teaching and prepared Gaelle Le Roi for the entrance examination at the Conservatoire de Musique d’Aix en Provence. Her curiosity led her to seek training in such disciplines as the Alexander and Feldenkrais methods. She also became interested in phoniatrics and worked with Benoit Amy de La Bretèque and Jean Blaise Roch. She enjoyed teaching how to speak, which she taught from 1998 onwards at the IUFM, a teaching academy in Versailles. In 1999, she taught at the choral ensemble, Maitrise de la Loire. Then the chorus at the Opéra de Lyon asked her to join the teaching team. She was one of the founding members of the Centre de la Voix in Rhone-Alpes.

She has taught at numerous workshops at the Centre de la Voix, at the Summer Academy at Rouffach, at the academy of Ambronay, at the CEFEDEM in Lyon and at workshops at the IUFM in Lyon and the Académie Musique et Voix at the Nord-Pas de Calais, where she discussed voice training for children. She participated in a degree course in singing at the Conservatoire de Saint-Etienne.

The Opéra de Lyon hired her to prepare children who sang the role of Yniold in Pelléas et Mélisande and to work on the French diction of foreign singers in productions of Franz Lehar’s The Merry Widow or Bizet’s Djamileh.

She is currently teaching at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et Danse de Lyon, the Opéra de Lyon and at the Centre de la voix en Rhone-Alpes.

She regularly coaches leading international stars such as Marie-Ange Todorovitch, Véronique Gens, Karita Matila and Joyce Di Donato .

Website of Mireille Deguy