Born in Paris, Sylvie Valayre graduated at the conservatory of her home
town under the guidance of Christiane Eda-Pierre and Regine
Crespin. She attended master classes of Cathy Berberian, Galina
Vichnevskaia, Gino Bechi, Paul von Schilawsky and Giuseppe Di
Stefano, who later chose her to perform a concert with him at Theatre du
Chatelet. Later, she undertook advanced studies with tenor Sergio
Tedesco and with mezzo-soprano Catherine Green.
For one of her first appearances on stage, Mstislav Rostropovich and
Galina Vishnevskaya asked her to perform the title role in their
production of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's The Tsar's Bride at the Rome
Opera in 1988.
Already in the first years of her carreer, her repertoire included a vast
amount of very different roles such as of Mimi in La Bohème, Tosca,
Magda in La rondine, Violetta in La traviata, Norma, Leonore in Fidelio,
Massenet’s Manon and Thais, Adina in L'elisir d'amore, Liu in Turandot,
the Infante in Der Zwerg by Zemlinsky and La Voix humaine by Poulenc.
From 1993 on, she was performing in major Italian houses in works like
La Voix humaine (Trieste, Genova, Naples),
Cavalleria rusticana (Trieste, Bologna), L'heure espagnole and Il segreto
di Susanna (Opera of Trieste).
In 1995, in a production touring through the Netherlands, she debuted in
the part of Lady Macbeth, later one of her signature parts.
In 1996, with the production of Venice's La Fenice, she made her debut
in Warsaw in the part of Elisabetta in Don Carlo. A few months later
followed her debuts in Nabucco at Royal Opera House Covent Garden
and in Don Carlo at Royal Albert Hall in London.
In 1997, Milan invited her onto the famous stage of La Scala to perform
Ponchielli's La Gioconda. Her debut in Milan was soon followed by other
debuts at other famous opera houses: Madama Butterfly at San
Francisco Opera, Verdi's Jerusalem at Carnegie Hall in New York,
Nabucco, Aida and Tosca at Arena di Verona, Macbeth in Paris and
Tosca at Deutsche Oper Berlin.
Her first performances at the Metropolitan Opera in Madama Butterfly
followed in January 2000. She later returned to the Met as Maddalena in
Andrea Chénier with Placido Domingo and James Levine as well as in
the role of Tosca.
Sylvie Valayre frequently performs for the most important opera
companies around the world such as the Lyric Opera Chicago (Tosca),
in Madrid (Verdis Requiem, Ernani and Chrysothemis in Elektra under
the baton of Daniel Barenboim), Brussel’s La Monnaie (Macbeth with
Antonio Pappano), Deutsche Oper Berlin (Tosca, Aida, Kaiserin in Die
Frau ohne Schatten with Christian Thielemann, Ernani, Minnie in
Puccini’s La fanciulla del west, Maddalena in Andrea Chénier and
Nabucco), Staatsoper Berlin (Macbeth with Michael Gielen, the title role
of Turandot under the baton of Kent Nagano, Salome and Tosca),
Macerata as Norma and Aida, Washington National Opera (Salome,
Tosca, Giordanos Fedora with Plácido Domingo and recently Turandot),
Opernhaus Zürich (Nabucco, La Gioconda, Manon Lescaut and Tosca,
each with Nello Santi conducting, Macbeth and La fanciulla del west), in
Rome (Nabucco und Aida), Teatro Regio in Turin (Macbeth under the
baton of Bruno Bartoletti and Amelia in Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera), La
Scala in Milan (Salome), Glyndebourne (Lady Macbeth with Vladimir
Jurowski) and the Vienna State Opera (Tosca, Nabucco, Fedora, Aida
and Salome on a tour with the Vienna Philharmonics).
Most recently, she sang her first Desdemona in Verdis Otello at
Beethoven Festival in Warsaw zu hören, performed Tosca an der Opéra
de Bastille in Paris, Manon Lescaut in Genoa, Turandot and Lady
Macbeth at Semperoper Dresden, Aida at Oper Leipzig, Tosca and
Abigaille in Nabucco at San Diego Opera, Turandot in Monte-Carlo,
Odabella in Verdis Attila in Marseille and Tosca at Staatsoper Berlin
As Turandot, she inaugurated the new opera house of Guangzhou in
China under the baton of Lorin Maazel in May 2010.
In 2010/11, Sylvie Valayre returns to the Opéra Bastille in Paris as
Giorgetta in Puccini’s Il tabarro under the baton of Philippe Jordan,
sings a gala performance of Madama Butterfly in Mannheim and gives
her debuts at Beejing Opera as Turandot and at Royal Opera
Copenhagen as Kaiserin in Die Frau ohne Schatten.
Her CD recordings include de Banfield’s Una lettera d'amore di Lord
Byron, Lattuada’s Le preziose ridicole, Hersants Le Chateau des
Carpathes and a Christmas Album, her DVD recordings a Hommage à la
Malibran and Florentz’s Mary's prayer at Golgotha from Paris, La corona
di pietra – gala concert from Arena di Verona with Placido Domingo as
well as Verdi’s Macbeth from Parma under the baton of Bruno Bartoletti.