Life and career
Eda-Pierre was born in Fort-de-France, Martinique, and came to France to study at the Paris Conservatory, where she was a pupil of J. Decrais and Charles Panzéra. She graduated with honors in 1957. The same year, she made her professional debut in Nice, as Leïla in Les pêcheurs de perles.
She made her debut at the Opéra-Comique in 1958, as Lakmé, at the Aix-en-Provence Festival in 1959, as Papagena in The Magic Flute, and at the Palais Garnier in 1960, as Lucia di Lammermoor. She sang there the standard lyric coloratura roles of the French and Italian repertories. She also won great acclaim in Mozart roles, especially Konstanze in The Abduction from the Seraglio, as well as the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro, Donna Anna and Elvira in Don Giovanni, The Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute.
Eda-Pierre was much appreciated in French baroque opera, particularly the works of Jean-Philippe Rameau, including Les Indes galantes, Zoroastre, Les Boréades, and Dardanus. She was also very active on French Radio where she sang in little performed works, such as Rossini's Le siège de Corinthe, Bellini's Il pirata, Bizet's La jolie fille de Perth, as well as Berlioz's Béatrice et Bénédict and Benvenuto Cellini.
She created many contemporary works, such as Capdeville's Les amants captifs (1973), Chaynes's Pour un monde noir (1979), and Erszebet (1983). In 1983 she also created the role of the Angel in Olivier Messiaen's Saint François d'Assise, at the Opéra.
Eda-Pierre also appeared to great acclaim internationally, including Lisbon, London, Wexford, Berlin, Hamburg, Vienna, Salzburg, Moscow, Chicago, and New York. She made her Metropolitan Opera debut in 1980 as Konstanze, and went on to sing other roles there: Antonia in Les contes d'Hoffmann and Gilda in Rigoletto.
She became a teacher at the Paris Conservatory in 1977, while continuing her career in opera and in concert.
The possessor of a beautiful, rich and agile voice, which enabled her to succeed in a wide variety of roles, Eda-Pierre can be heard on several recordings, her three most famous being on the Philips label, as Konstanze in Abduction from the Seraglio and Teresa in Benvenuto Cellini, both under Sir Colin Davis, and an album of arias from the French opéra-comiques of Grétry and Philidor, under Sir Neville Marriner. For the Bizet centenary in 1975 she participated in BBC studio recordings of La Jolie Fille de Perth and Le Docteur Miracle.
- D. Hamilton (ed.),The Metropolitan Opera Encyclopedia: A Complete Guide to the World of Opera (Simon and Schuster, New York 1987). ISBN 0-671-61732-X
- Roland Mancini and Jean-Jacques Rouveroux, (orig. H. Rosenthal and J. Warrack, French edition), Guide de l’opéra, Les indispensables de la musique (Fayard, 1995). ISBN 2-213-59567-4