French mezzo-soprano Marianne Crebassa made a major impact when she emerged on the international scene in the mid-2010s with performances of French opera and song.
Crebassa was born in Béziers in southern France on December 14, 1986. She lived in Agdé and Montpellier, studying at conservatories in both places. In Montpellier she appeared in a Montpellier Opera performance of Schumann's Manfred, and a concert performance at the Festival de Radio France of Bernard Herrmann's opera Wuthering Heights gained her wide attention. She has continued to perform at this festival even after achieving international popularity. In Montpellier she studied voice, piano, and musicology; this well-rounded education and her early performances won her a place in the Young Artist Program of the Opéra National de Paris. That brought her stage experience in a wide variety of music: Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice, Mozart's La finta giardiniera, Berg's Lulu, Verdi's Rigoletto, and Puccini's Madama Butterfly.
After graduating in 2012, Crebassa made an impressive splash: she appeared (as Irene) opposite Plácido Domingo in Handel's Tamerlano, and she returned the following year as Cecilio in Mozart's Lucia Silla, a role in which she later made her debut at Italy's La Scala. In 2014 she created the title role in the new opera Charlotte Salomon, by French composer Marc-André Dalbavie. Crebassa made top-level appearances in the U.S. with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (in 2015, in a program of French vocal works) and at the Chicago Lyric Opera (in 2016, as Stephano in Gounod's Roméo et Juliette). She also portrayed Cherubino in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro at houses in Amsterdam, Berlin, and Vienna during this period.
Signed to the Erato label, Crebassa released her debut album, Oh Boy!, a collection of "pants role" arias, in 2016. Secrets, French mélodies with high-profile Turkish pianist Fazil Say as accompanist, followed in 2017. A busy 2017-2018 season for the singer included concerts conducted by Daniel Barenboim to celebrate the Debussy 2018 centenary, a recital in the Pierre Boulez Saal in Berlin, and a debut in the role of Debussy's Mélisande, as well as returns to La Scala (as Irene) and to Chicago as Dorabella in Mozart's Così fan tutte.