About Anne Azéma
Soprano Anne Azéma is a versatile figure who has been active as a conductor, scholar, stage director, and educator. She has become familiar to U.S. audiences since assuming the music directorship of the Boston Camerata in 2008.
Azéma was born in Niort, in western France, on October 19, 1957. In 1993, she turned to early music, specializing in that field ever since. In France, her specialty was the vernacular song of France and Provence in the Middle Ages. Several of her solo recordings, The Unicorn (1994), Le jeu d'amour (1997), Provence mystique (1999), and Troubadour Songs (2011), have focused on this repertory; she also issued Etoile du nord (2003), an album of sacred music. She toured Europe, the U.S., and Japan, and she founded the group Camerata Mediterranea. Azéma has given masterclasses and seminars in the U.S., France, and the Netherlands. She has been in demand as a university lecturer in the U.S.
Azéma was well known for solo recitals and ensemble concerts before joining the Boston Camerata; she began performing with that group in the 2000s. In 2004, she sang the role of Mother Ann of the Shaker sect in the multimedia work Borrowed Light in a Camerata production, choreographed by Tero Saarinen; she subsequently has included both the music of the Shakers and contemporary repertory among her interests. In 2008, Azéma became artistic director of the Boston Camerata, which had been led by her husband, Joel Cohen, since 1969. Cohen has remained active in a reduced capacity, and both spouses were designated as Chevaliers des Arts et des Lettres by the French government. She has continued her European activities, forming the new Aziman Ensemble, and taking the Camerata on tours to Europe.
Azéma has led the Boston Camerata on several recordings, including Free America!: Early Songs of Resistance and Rebellion in 2019. ~ James Manheim