LES VISITEURS DU SOIR
Julia Migenes sings Bernstein
Victoria Kirsh piano
The opera singer Julia Migenes interprets the most famous songs from the musicals "Candide" and "West Side Story" by the great American composer Leonard Bernstein.
JULIA MIGENES was born on the Lower East Side of New York into a family made up of a passionate mixture of Greek and Irish-Puerto-Rican descent. Despite a difficult and violent childhood, she discovered her calling upon engagement of the child role in Madame Butterfly where she first experienced the power and the emotion of music linked to a stage setting.
A few years later, while studying at the New York School for Performing Arts, she was chosen by Leonard Bernstein to be a soloist in his "Young People′s Concerts".
Julia then began her Broadway career: she was part of the original casting of Fiddler on the Roof with Zero Mostel and she interpreted Maria in West Side Story.
She sang the first creation of The Saint of Bleaker Street, an opera by Menotti.
Then she moved to Austria, hired to play Maria in West Side Story, and the beginning of her carreer at the Volksoper of Vienna, as well as in all German speaking countries. For 7 years she performed the main parts of the repertoire, invited the audience to her own musical shows, participated into several tv shows (some being written just for her). She was even elected favourite opera performer, and the following year received favourite pop artist. Rewarded after a poll of the audiences, she was really popular in German speaking countries.
Spotted by the Met, while she performs Musette, La Bohème, in San Francisco, Julia Migenes is hired for 3 productions and accepts to be the understudy of Teresa Stratas in Lulu by Alban Berg. On the evening of the tv broadcast, she stands in for the main actress who′s not feeling well. The reaction is enthusiastic for a role in which she reveals all her capacities. Of course she sings perfectly this particularly difficult part but it′s her acting as Lulu that remains in everyone′s memories.
Even in Europe where Maurice Béjart is in search of the impossible: he has to direct Salomé in Geneva and needs the perfect gem: an opera singer who can dance... The one and only Julia Migenes who Maurice Béjart will keep on comparing to his most talented dancers.
While rehearsing Salomé, Italian movie director Francesco Rosi is preparing the cast of Carmen. He′s desperately in search of a lyric singer who can dance as well, but she also has to be sensual enough to play the burning of passion... That′s how Julia Migenes becomes the main character of a legendary movie that became the reference of opera movies. Julia Migenes is awarded a Grammy for the movie soundtrack, and her acting makes her very popular which allows her to get access to the greatest parts like La Voix Humaine in Monte Carlo, Manon in Convent Garden, Tosca in Earl′s Court...
To this day, Julia Migenes has recorded more than 40 albums. Among the most recent: "Vienna" conducted by Lalo Schifrin, a Gold record six months after its release ; in 1996, "Man of La Mancha" ("L′homme de La Mancha"), conducted and arranged by Paul Gemignani, with Placido Domingo, Samuel Ramey, Mandy Patinkin ; in 1999, "Robert Stolz" and "The music of Franz Lehar" for BBC and in 2000, Donizetti′s "Catarina Cornaro", "La Argentina" repertoire by Piazzolla released in 2004.
From 1998, Julia Migenes started writing her own shows.
She wrote "Diva on the Verge", a one-woman-show mingling monologue and opera often mocking its rigid world, revealing her daring wit and sense of humor. In 1999, she performed this show in French in Paris and throughout France and French-speaking countries. Then she toured the US followed by Spain and Latin America.
In 2000, Julia Migenes stars in The Seven Deadly Sins and Happy End at the Zarzuela of Madrid.
In 2001, Julia Migenes created "Passions Latines", a choreographed recital in which she interprets a repertoire of Latin music, both classical and traditional, from Granados, Villa Lobos, to flamenco, tango and the great contemporary salsa songs. She presented this show at the Paris Olympia in March 2002.
During November 2001, she performs Diva on the verge at the Odyssey Theatre of Los Angeles.
In July 2002, she created for the Festival d′Avignon La Argentina, a tribute to tango accompanied by the Argentinean quintet Tiempo Sur. An international tour is still taking place and included a stop at the prestigious Paris Théâtre du Châtelet.
In January 2002, Julia Migenes shared the stage with Placido Domingo at the Los Angeles Opera House, in a show about the Zarzuela.
In March 2002, she was on the stage of the San Francisco Theater Artaud for the first creation of The difficulty of crossing a field, a modern opera, with the Kronos Quartet.
In July 2002, Julia Migenes performed Passions Latines in the main European festivals. She also stopped at the Festival d′Avignon, cour d′honneur of the Palais des Papes, for an amazing tango evening. The show La Argentina was then a huge success at the Théâtre Musical de Paris Châlelet, in november 2003, followed by a long international tour.
Julia Migenes has put together a program dedicated to sacred songs which premiered at the Fès Festival of Sacred Music (Morocco) in June 2003.
She was also part of the cast along Barbara Hendricks of a new opera "Angels in America" by Peter Eötvös which was created at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, directed by Philippe Calvario.
2005 is the year when she recorded her new jazz album Alter Ego while continuing touring with La Argentina. The album was released in the Spring 2006. At that same time, she appeared in Pierrot Lunaire - Cabaret Schönberg staged by Hans Peter Cloos in New York and in May 2006, she premiered her new show "Alter Ego".
In 2006, Editions du Rocher propose the 1st biography of Julia Migenes: « Memories of a rebel bird ».
2007 - the Opéras en Plein Air asked Julia Migenes to handle the stage direction of Le Barbier de Séville by Gioachino Rossini. The opera was performed in prestigious venues like the gardens of the Sénat, the castle of Champ de Bataille in Evreux and the castle of Vaux le Vicomte.
In November 2007, she′s on tour with a classical recital accompanied by Janine Reiss (vocal coach of Maria Callas for years but also of Julia Migenes, on the set of Carmen), she also creates in 2008 L´Heure Espagnole in Clermont-Ferrand and starts working on a show about Schubert.
In July 2008, Julia Migenes performs with Placido Domingo and the Cairo Orchestra during the Jordan Festival in Amman.
In 2009, Julia Migenes released a new CD dedicated to the greatest actresses of cinema with covers of hits by Marlene Dietrich, Rita Hayworth or Marylin Monroe... called Hollywood Divas.