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The Emelthée Project
Emelthée is a choir of about thirty young professional singers (average age 25) founded in Lyon in 2009 by Marie-Laure Teissèdre. The singers all studied to an advanced level in France or abroad. Emelthée endeavours to develop a strong sense of team spirit and commitment from the young artists and encourages them to listen and respond to each other, so that their performance reflects the fluidity, mobility and spontaneity of the art of singing, always direct in its impact, but constantly evolving in its style. Emelthée performances range from solo quartet to full chamber choir, with or without instrumental accompaniment. Their repertoire consists of the music for which the artistic director has a particular affection and spans from the baroque to the contemporary. Since 2014 the choir's performances have highlighted the French music at the turn of the twentieth century.
An underlying feature of Émelthée performances is is the fundamental desire to achieve the 'right' sound for each piece. Their approach is systematic and their choices of repertoire often bold. Music is often combined with other artistic disciplines, such as literature, painting and dance, and performances sometimes take place in historic buildings. Constant efforts are made to present works in new ways: concerts may be semi-staged or punctuated with text readings that throw new light on the music and, in general, the codes of performer-audience relations are broken. All this shapes the artistic identity of Emelthée, which audiences have now come to recognise. The music critic Patrick Favre-Tissot noted this in a review of a concert by Emelthée. “[..] This professional vocal ensemble offers a season of concerts whose aesthetic variety goes far beyond that of the usual run-of-the-mill programmes, […]., and reveals a rare concern for aesthetic and musicological cohesion...".
The choir pursues an active policy of cooperation with other local groups and institutions connected with the arts and has also taken part in festivals, notably the Berlioz Festival at La-Côte-Saint-André, the 'Festival en Beaujolais', 'Continents et Cultures', the Vienna Spring Festival, the Lourdes International Church Music Festival, the Ambronay Festival, the Bach Festival at Saint-Donat-sur-l’Herbasse and even an event in Montréal.