At the entrance exam for the Conservatoire national supérieur de musique de Paris in 2014, Marine Chagnon encountered skepticism from the jury: why audition as a mezzo when her voice seemed sculpted like that of a soprano? At the second attempt, the following year, now a soprano candidate, other jurors dismissed her in turn: they felt that her range flirted more with that of a mezzo... “The third time, I was joking about it, she says. It had become a joke with my friends: so this time? Tenor? Baritone? » Only the fourth, probably stimulated by the energy of despair, was the right one, that of admission.
Six years later, at just 30 years old, Marine Chagnon has become “a mezzo-soprano, I care about both! », in full bloom, driven by favorable word of mouth among opera lovers. Consecration: her 2023-2024 season will take place entirely at the Paris Opera, where she joins the opera troupe, a new pool of seven young hopefuls who will be distributed from one show to another from September to July 2024, both for their allow you to cut your teeth only to offer the public recurring faces.
“It’s an exceptional opportunity,” rejoices the one who will perform Verdi (La Traviata) or Massenet (Cinderella and Don Quixote). Without that, I would never have been able to be cast as Zerline on stage for perhaps ten years..."
The candid peasant girl from Mozart's Don Giovanni, given at Bastille from September 13 in a new creation by Claus Guth, is the role with which she inaugurates the year. Long rehearsals with her coach, Elène Golgevit, study of the direction, reading of analyzes and theses on the work... “I had never prepared a role so much. » A patient and meticulous maturation which is necessary for her: “I cannot sing a work if I do not understand it theatrically,” she explains. For me, at the opera, you don't come on stage to see a singer but an actor who sings. »
Outwitting her young premiere traits
In addition to the flexibility of her voice, it is in particular this care taken in her playing and her expressiveness which have made her reputation, combined with a skillful way of thwarting her young premiere traits through incarnations of complex, tormented women. “I don't like it when Poppée [by Monteverdi] is reduced to her venality or when La Périchole [by Offenbach] is shown as enticed prey,” she pleads, citing two roles she played. endorsed in recent months. Of Zerline, who marries before giving in to Don Giovanni's advances, I would like to suggest that she is not so naive. »
Daughter of a mother who is a researcher in food toxicology and a father who is the general director of services, Marine Chagnon grew up in Dijon without thinking of becoming a “lyric artist”, as she likes to present herself. Modern jazz lessons, theater option during his schooling, then joining the children's choir of the Dijon Opera. “When the choir director started to give me solos, people didn’t talk to me about my voice but about the emotion they had listening to me. » She then senses the possibility of a different trajectory from the medical studies she is considering.
The conservatory to which she had to apply four times will in truth be the only hitch to her CV. Navigating among the institutions intended to nurture young shoots (Paris Opera Academy, Jaroussky Academy, Orsay-Royaumont Academy, etc.), Marine Chagnon, between two escapes to the Ile d'Yeu, where she likes to isolate herself , has already released a first album (Ljus: Swedish Songs, Swedish tunes accompanied by pianist Joséphine Ambroselli, released by Mirare in 2022) and benefited from a nomination as a revelation at the latest Victoires de la Musique Classique.
Mezzo, soprano, soprano, mezzo… From now on, it doesn’t matter. “When I was 20, I was convinced like everyone else that you absolutely had to know who you were. And then, the day I met my coach, she had a formula that uninhibited me, telling me that I was not a voice with a range but a voice with roles. » Way to prefer marked routes to a larger playground to invent yourself.