Born in Corsica, Michelle Canniccioni studied music at the École Nationale de Musique in Bastia with Anne-Marie Grisoni, then at the Marseilles Regional Conservatory in Tibère Raffali’s class. She won a unanimously awarded First Prize for singing and the Second Grand Prix for singing of the City of Marseilles.

In 1995 she took part in the Alès Singing Competition and won First Prize. She then followed the masterclasses of Robert Massard and A. Lance as a result of which she made her debut as Micaëla for the Summer Festival of Savoie.

In 1996 Michelle Canniccioni joined the Opera Training Centre of the Paris Opera, establishing herself there the following year after taking part in many productions: Madama Butterfly, Parsifal, Rigoletto, Le Nain, L’Enfant et les Sortilèges, Die Zauberflöte, La Bohème and Carmen. It was there that she met the leading choral directors of the operatic world and performed the roles of Fiordiligi, Tatiana and Violetta.

She also performed Junon (Platée), conducted by Marc Minkowski at the Théâtre de Caen. In 2000 she appeared as Kate in Madama Butterfly in Tokyo, in production staged by Robert Wilson. At the same time she underwent advanced training at the CNIPAL in Marseilles.

The year 2000 was marked by her first leading roles: Suzel in L’Amico Fritz, Micaela (Carmen) and Liu (Turandot) at the Opéra National du Rhin. Tackling a more contemporary repertory, she was Silene in Rolf Liebermann’s Medea in 2002 at the Bastille Opera in Paris. She was also the First Nymph in the magnificent production of Rusalka given by the Bastille Opera conducted by James Conlon. That same year she was twice invited to Marseilles Opera for Ariadne auf Naxos and Louise.

In 2003, in Seville, Michelle Canniccioni for the first time performed the role of Blanche (Dialogue des Carmélites), a role she has never dropped since then. It was in this role that she made her debut at La Scala, Milan in 2004, at the request and under the direction of Riccardo Muti.

She met with great success in this legendary venue that invited her again to sing Micaela, this time with the conductor Michel Plasson. She also performed this role at the Glyndebourne Festival that same year. At Glyndebourne and on tour in England she sang Mimi (La Bohème) for the first time. In Sienna she was Hébé, the principal role in La Ville Morte by Nadia Boulanger, a world premiere performance.

In 2005 Michelle Canniccioni was invited by Saint Étienne Opera to sing Blanche. She returned to the role of the First Nymph in Rusalka at the Bastille Opera in Paris. At the same time she added what would henceforward be a regular fixture in her repertory: Elle (‘She’) in Poulenc’s La Voix Humaine. She sang it for the first time in the Netherlands with the conductor Marc Soustrot.

In 2006 she again enriched her repertory with several new roles: after Mimi for Massy Opera, she made her debut as Missia (The Merry Widow) for Liège Royal Opera in Jérôme Savary’s kaleidoscopic production. At Liège she was also Marguerite in Faust. In the same year she appeared in a concert in Nice in Mozart’s Coronation Mass and in Poulenc’s Gloria under the direction of Marco Guidarini. She was also Leonore in Lalo’s Fiesque for the Radio France and Montpellier Festival alongside Roberto Alagna and the conductor Alain Altinoglu. She made her debut as Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi) under the direction of J. Neschling (Sao Paulo). Finally, she was for the first time Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni at Avignon Opera.

In 2007 Michelle Canniccioni returned to Montpellier for another new role: Susanna in Il Segreto di Susanna by Wolf-Ferrari, a production that was taken on tour to Santa Cruz de Tenerife. She also made her debut as La Baronne in La Vie Parisienne at Lyons National Opera.

The year 2008 confirmed the esteem she had won from opera directors and conductors as well as her success with audiences. Michelle Canniccioni was invited to sing Marguerite again, this time for Bordeaux National Opera. Maestro Neschling once more brought her to Rio for La Voix Humaine. Marseilles Opera invited her for The Merry Widow.

February 2009: Michelle Canniccioni made an outstanding debut as Antonia in Les Contes d’Hoffmann at Avignon Opera. Struck by the emotion in her performance as well as the beauty of her voice, the young New York conductor Jonathan Schiffman – who was conducting his first opera – invited her for the New Year Concert of January 2010 and Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater in April 2010.

Until she returns to the Papal City of Avignon, Michelle Canniccioni made a detour to Brazil. She had a great success in Beethoven’s Mass in C, given at Belo Horizonte in April 2009. After returning to her native Corsica for a recital of Italian songs, two concerts are planned for August in Rio de Janeiro: a programme of De Falla, Ravel and a premiere of a work by J.G. Ripper based on Machado de Assis.

In 2010 her key roles are on the programme: she returns notably to Antonia for Monte Carlo Opera alongside M.A Todorovich and Neil Shicoff, and performs La Voix Humaine at Saint Étienne Opera.


©Michelle Canniccioni Soprano