July 08, 2014

Erato signs exclusive contract with contralto and conductor Nathalie Stutzmann

New disc of Handel arias with her orchestra Orfeo 55 to be titled 'Heroes from the Shadows'.

Erato is honoured to announce the signing of an exclusive recording contract with one of the most versatile musicians of our time, Nathalie Stutzmann. The revered French contralto and conductor brings with her the dynamic chamber orchestra she founded in 2009, Orfeo 55.

Nathalie already has an extensive discography of more than 40 recordings to her name, having performed as soloist under the batons of Herbert von Karajan, Sir Colin Davis, John Eliot Gardiner and Marc Minkowski among others. These luminaries must have left a lasting impression on the contralto, who has since developed a parallel career as a fine maestra in her own right under the guidance of her two mentors, Sir Simon Rattle and Seiji Ozawa.

Her next venture with Erato marks a homecoming — she had signed her first contract as a singer with the label in the early 1980s — but also a new chapter now that Nathalie’s rich vocal gifts have matured and she has mastered the rare skill of singing and conducting simultaneously. It is a combined art she will continue to explore on her first recording for Erato with Orfeo 55, Heroes from the Shadows, slated for release in autumn 2014. This recital shines light on the secondary roles in Handel operas; the lesser characters who are in fact often given the plum arias. The album features countertenor superstar Philippe Jaroussky in duet with Nathalie.

Additionally, Erato will reissue Nathalie’s three classic Schubert lieder cycles — originally recorded with Inger Södergren for the Calliope label — in conjunction with her upcoming tour of the same repertoire.

“I have known Nathalie Stutzmann from her earliest performances,” recalls Warner Classics & Erato President Alain Lanceron.  “Her debut on disc on EMI was the complete opera Guercoeur under the direction of Michel Plasson in 1986. I followed with great interest the rise and evolution of her magnificent career. I am very proud to welcome her to Erato along with Orfeo 55. She is not only an exceptional contralto, but also a truly unique musician.”