Death of Jodie Devos, aged 35

Xl_disparition-jodie-devos © Jodie Devos

The young Belgian soprano Jodie Devos died of cancer on Sunday at the age of 35. Her death comes after a sunny young career that left a lasting impression on all those who saw her perform.

Astonishment and deep sadness. These are the words that come to mind when reading the news from Intermezzo, the agency of Belgian soprano Jodie Devos, “who died in Paris on 16th June, surrounded by her family and close friends, at the age of 35, from breast cancer, which had forced her to cancel several recent engagements”.

Jodie Devos' young career spanned ten years and she will be remembered for the energy and vitality she brought to each of her roles. The revelation came in 2014 when she took part in the Queen Elisabeth Competition: clearly extremely committed to her performance, she fainted on stage in the first round, suffering from vagal discomfort, before rousing the enthusiasm of the Bozar Auditorium and eventually winning the competition's second prize and the audience award. The competition opened the doors to many European stages. That same year, she joined the Académie de l'Opéra-Comique, where she replaced Sabine Devieilhe in Johann Strauss's La Chauve-Souris: an opportunity to “discover a stunning young Belgian soprano at the age of 26”, a certain Jodie Devos, “a name to remember”.

Whether singing Rossini (in which she displays “a beautiful vocal aplomb that ignores the difficulties of the music”) or Mozart (in which she is “deliciously mischievous”), Jodie Devos stands out for her sunny, fresh voice, her charm and her theatricality. She quickly expanded her repertoire, notably taking on the remarkable role of Lakmé in Toulon and then a proud Adèle in Le comte Ory. She proved delicious in Gounod's La nonne sanglante and again in Clément Cogitore's famous Les Indes Galantes at the Paris Opéra, where she was “simply dazzling from beginning to end, always lively-silvery, but always with that fruity timbre that seduces”. She has sung the great works of the repertoire, but has also revealed herself in the contemporary repertoire, notably in On purge Bébé! in 2022 by Philippe Boesmans.

Jodie Devos said she was at home on stage (she had studied dance and worked with actors alongside her opera training at the Institut de Musique et de Pédagogie in Namur, followed by a Master of Art at the Royal Academy of Music in London), but she also left her mark on recordings, starting with her first album, Offenbach Colorature with Laurent Campellone, dedicated to the composer she was particularly fond of and sang very regularly, followed by And love said... which took her into a radically different repertoire, although close to her first love.

In a long interview given to Opéra Magazine at the end of 2021, Jodie Devos spoke of her ambitions: the roles she still dreamed of performing, but also “one day opening an artist's residence in the countryside, directing original operas (...), being an agent, producing...”. She concluded: “I won't have enough life”. Jodie Devos was due to sing Vivaldi's L'Olimpiade at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in a few days' time, and was due to appear at the Berlioz Festival this summer and in several opera houses next season. She died on Sunday at the age of 35.

free translation of our article first published in French

| Print

More items