Search form

menu menu
  • Daily & Weekly newsletters
  • Buy & download The Bulletin
  • Comment on our articles

Belgian soprano Jodie Devos dies aged 35

14:15 18/06/2024

Belgian soprano Jodie Devos has died at the age of 35 as a result of breast cancer, her agent has announced.

An undisputed star in the international opera scene, Devos died “surrounded by her family and close friends, as a result of breast cancer which forced her to cancel several recent engagements”, the statement said.

Devos performed all over the world during her 10-year career and was the second prize-winner of the Queen Elisabeth Competition in 2014.

She regularly performed at La Monnaie, the Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège and the Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège, in particular. She was also due to appear this summer at the Festivals of Wallonia and Gaume Jazz.

Born in Libramont in the Walloon province of Luxembourg, Devos was noted as a sunny and engaging performer who won applause not only from the King and Queen of Belgium but also the public, who voted for her en masse for the Prix Musiq3.

Devos said she wanted to be a singer ever since she was a child, and started singing in choirs at the age of five.

After her first lessons in Ciney, she studied with Benoît Giaux and Élise Gäbele at the IMEP in Namur, before moving to London in 2013 to take a Master of Art at the Royal Academy of Music in Lillian Watson's class.

There she not only studied oratorio, lieder and opera, but equally honed her acting talents. She took part in masterclasses, principally with the piano accompanist Helmut Deutsch, singers Nadine Denize and Christine Eda-Pierre and conductor Marc Minkowski.

Outside of her native Belgium, Devos was a regular guest on French stages beyond Paris, notably in Montpellier, Toulon, Limoges, Dijon, Tours, Toulouse, Versailles, Orange and Monaco.

The diversity of repertoires and roles she took on during a decade of professional work are a testament to the versatility of her voice and the strength of her work.

Devos received numerous awards, including Young Talent of the Year 2015 at the International Classical Music Awards, a Diapason d'or, a Choc Classica and a Gramophone Editor's Choice.

Musiq3 immediately modified its programmes following the news of Devos’s death on Sunday with three special broadcasts, and will continue to pay tributes over the coming days in its various programmes.

Photo: Devos winning Walloon of the Year 2016, Sebastien Monmart/Belga

Written by Helen Lyons