Marie-Nicole Lemieux and the importance of Baroque décolletage

Marie-Nicole Lemieux and the importance of Baroque décolletage

Not only is Marie-Nicole Lemieux one of the most interesting contraltos singing today…

…she also has a rare gift of understanding the art of the Baroque top.  Evidence:

Marie-Nicole Lemieux

Marie-Nicole LemieuxAncestry:

Artemisia Gentileschi, Self-Portrait as a Lute Player, 1615-1617
Artemisia Gentileschi, Self-Portrait as a Lute Player, 1615-1617

Guido Reni: Death of Cleopatra (1595-1598)
Guido Reni: Death of Cleopatra (1595-1598)
La Strozzi
'The Viola da Gamba Player' (detail), possibly Barbara Strozzi. Painted by Bernardo Strozzi c. 1630-1640

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5 thoughts on “Marie-Nicole Lemieux and the importance of Baroque décolletage

  1. A singer new to me; thank you! Also, I am most intrigued by this hitherto-unconsidered aspect of era-appropriate dress. What undiscovered wonders await?

  2. 🙂 You understand me. (Oh, here’s MNL’s discography: http://www.marienicolelemieux.com/accueil.php)

    But in all seriousness. I’ve been trying to figure out why I’m kvetching all the time about what singers wear at concerts, and I think I know. What they wear is part of what they express. What they wear is actually part of their voice. So if they’re wearing something that distracts from their expression… they’re undermining their art.

    For example. This is one of my favourite arias, La folie from the Platee, I can’t stop listening to this particular clip because it’s good quality: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2GvwM9UtjM BUT. If I listen and watch, I start worrying about Mireille Delunsch’s dress. Or rather, one particular part of her body that it covers flimsily. Around 3:53 when she spreads her arms, one gets worried. Wait, how low can this dress go? Where do her boobs end? How are they kept in place so low? And so on.

    Or this example. I love Sarah Connolly. Perfect voice for Dido’s Lament, so there should be any problem. Right? Wrong. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ACY03VwWmnA She came carrying a meadow on her upper body. The ruffled hair, the feathery sleeves, a rose attached, and that jumbo-mega necklace with their sister earrings. I am distracted. I expect birds will start landing.

  3. I’ve just heard her in Essen with Jaroussky, and I subscribe to everything written above. She is gorgeous, voice and décolletage and all!

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