Natalie Dessay made her San Francisco Opera debut in the title role of 2008’s Lucia di Lammermoor, a role she has sung to international acclaim at the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Paris Opera, and Lyon Opera. She was born in Lyon and raised in Bordeaux, then studied at Paris Opera’s young artists’ studio before launching her international career at the Vienna State Opera in 1993. Dessay quickly established herself as a leading interpreter of the light and coloratura soprano repertoire, performing such roles as Olympia (Les Contes d’Hoffmann); the title roles of Lakmé and Le Rossignol; Morgana (Alcina); and Zerbinetta (Ariadne auf Naxos). Highlights of her early career include Zerbinetta at the Metropolitan Opera, Paris Opera, and the Salzburg Festival; the Queen of the Night (Die Zauberflöte) at Paris Opera; and Morgana in Paris, the Salzburg Festival, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and the Aix-en-Provence Festival. She has since enlarged her repertoire to include the tragic heroines of Bellini and Donizetti. Recent appearances include Violetta (La Traviata) at the Santa Fe Opera, the Aix-en-Provence Festival, and the Vienna State Opera; Mélisande (Pelléas et Mélisande) in London and Paris; Cleopatra (Giulio Cesare) with the Paris Opera; Marie (La Fille du Régiment) with the Royal Opera, Covent Garden; Amina (La Sonnambula) at the Vienna State Opera, Paris Opera, and the Met; Ophélie (Hamlet) at the Met; and Musetta (La Bohème) with Paris Opera. Her broad discography includes ten solo albums and complete recordings of Lucia di Lammermoor, L’Orfeo, Le Rossignol, Oedipus Rex, La Sonnambula, and Lakmé as well as DVD recordings of Ariadne auf Naxos, Pelléas et Mélisande, La Fille du Régiment, Le Rossignol, and Hamlet.