Jeannette (Ioanna) Pilou

Soloist, Soprano
She was born in Alexandria, Egypt on 7/11/1937. She began her vocal training in Egypt and continued in Italy under Carla Castellani. Her made her debut at Teatro Smeraldo di Milano as Violetta in La traviata (1959). Her international career unfolded quickly. Her repertoire covered a wide range of lyric and dramatic soprano roles in Italian and French operas. In 1965 she interpreted the leading role in La bohème at the Vienna State Opera. Appearances ensued in major European and American opera houses: London, Brussels, Milan, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Hannover, Cologne, Genoa, Budapest, Paris, Barcelona, Lisbon, Chicago, New Orleans, Houston, Philadelphia, Buenos Aires. In addition, she made acclaimed appearance at the Festival International d’Art Lyrique d’Aix-en-Provence, Internationale Maifestspiele Wiesbaden and the Arena di Verona Festival. Beginning with the role of Juliette [Roméo et Juliette], she sang the following roles at the Metropolitan Opera in New York over the years 1967-86: Susanna [The Marriage of Figaro / Le nozze di Figaro], Mélisande [Pelléas et Mélisande], Nedda [Pagliacci], Micaela [Carmen], Marguerite [Faust] and Mimì [La bohème]. She sang the leading role in the world premiere of Renzo Rosselini’s opera The Dead Queen [La reine morte] (Monte Carlo, 1973). She also interpreted Marzelline [Fidelio], Nannetta [Falstaff] and the title roles in Massenet’s Manon and Puccini’s Manon Lescaut. During the years 1969-1985, she participated regularly in GNO productions at Olympia Theater and the Athens Festival, performing acclaimed interpretations of Liú [Turandot], Susanna [The Marriage of Figaro / Le nozze di Figaro], Cio-Cio-San [Madama Butterfly], Donna Elvira [Don Giovanni], Desdemona [Othello] and Marguerite [Faust]. In 1998 she interpreted the leading role in the Greek premiere of Debussy’s opera Pelléas et Mélisande at the Athens Concert Hall. She was a founding member of the Association "Maria Callas Scholarship" foundation. She passed away on 27 April 2020.