Classical music world mourns coloratura soprano star Jodie Devos, who has died aged 35

17 June 2024, 12:11

Jodie Devos
Jodie Devos. Picture: Marco Borggreve

By Kyle Macdonald

The classical world has been expressing shock and sadness following the death of a rising star operatic soloist.

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Belgian soprano Jodie Devos has died of breast cancer, at the age of 35. She passed away in Paris, surrounded by family.

Devos’ last public performance was at the Théâtre des Champs Elysées in Paris in April this year. Her passing has led to an outpouring of grief, and words of tribute to her talent, from some of the biggest names in classical music and opera.

Soprano and conductor Barbara Hannigan paid tribute to her fellow singer, saying in a post on social media: “She was a beautiful artist, vibrant and radiant of sound and presence.”

Conductor Dirk Brossé told Belgian news channel VRT: “We have lost one of our very greatest Belgian musicians.”

French string soloists Renaud and Gautier Capuçon and American soprano Lisette Oropesa also expressed their deep sadness, offering sympathies to all those close to her.

Devos excelled in the coloratura repertoire of composers like Mozart, Rossini, Donizetti and Verdi, which is characterised by virtuosic singing often very high in the soprano register.

She recorded for the French label Alpha Classics, as well as Warner Classics. Her wonderfully intense and animated version of Mozart’s famous coloratura aria ‘The Queen of the Night’ from The Magic Flute can be watched below.

Mozart: Die Zauberflöte, K. 620, Act II: "Der Hölle Rache" (Queen of the Night Aria) – Jodie Devos

Devos completed her masters degree in 2013 at London’s Royal Academy of Music in London. The following year she won Second Prize and the Audience Prize at the prestigious Queen Elisabeth Competition of Belgium.

Over the last 10 years, Devos sang at many of Europe’s leading opera houses including Paris National Opera, Montpellier Opera and Paris National Opera. She also gave performances with orchestras National Orchestra of Belgium, French National Orchestra and the Munich Philharmonic.

Hers was an incredible talent, which made a true mark on the opera world, sadly taken too soon.