French girl, 18, sings Queen of the Night aria

French girl, 18, sings Queen of the Night aria


norman lebrecht

September 04, 2017

That she can do it at all at 18 is amazing, never mind how.

Solène Le Van alternates singing arias and playing the violin, classical and jazz.


  • Ungeheuer says:

    Crude and the German is unrecognizable but lots of potential. If she doesn’t blow her cords by age 20.

    • Bill Worley says:

      I agree – she will burn herself out if she will wreck her voice if she is not careful.

    • John Borstlap says:

      Young female singers like that practice by being squeezed by family members. Hence the nervousness in the voice. May she develop!

      • Jennifer says:

        Not necessarily true. I am a singer and a soprano 1 at that and I made state last year and it wasn’t because my pushed me to do it. It was because I practiced and my family gave me the love and support and space I needed. There is a lot of pressure involved but that can be from trying to surpass your own expectations and if you’re not nervous when you sing you are doing something wrong because i always get nervous when i sing

  • Solene Le Van says:

    Good afternoon. I am the young lady singing in the video, and I want to first of all thank Mr. Lebrecht for featuring my music-making here. I appreciate the concern some of the commenters have and want to reassure everyone that I am fully aware of the fragility of the young singing voice. As a result, I only sang this aria once as a rare exception. Otherwise, I exclusively study and perform melodies, lieder, and age-appropriate operatic repertoire. For example, I recently sang as a soprano soloist under the baton of John Butt in the rarely performed 1741 Dublin version of the “Messiah” under the auspices of the American Handel Society: ( I also recorded a disc when I was 16 of previously unrecorded melodies by Reynaldo Hahn and Emile Paladilhe with my father, American concert pianist and recording artist Eric Le Van, soon to be released on the Sheva Collection label: ( and I am 20 now and after a wonderful past year studying voice and violin at the Royal College of Music, I have yet to “blow my cords”!

    • Ungeheuer says:

      This is good to read. Keep at it and you will succeed. I hope Mr. Lebrecht keeps us informed when the new album is released. I very much look forward to hearing you in French song. Sincere best wishes.

    • Sue says:


    • Carlos Montane says:

      If you are interested in studying in the largest USA School of Music, where most likely you will get a full scholarship, let me know.

  • Una Barry says:

    Shame on the cynics for criticising this young lady. Crude? Squeezed by family members? What an awful comments to have been plastered here by ‘experts’ on singing..

    I wish you every possible success, Solene. I teach singing after having had a good career, and I know some of the teachers very well at the RCM and others there by good reputation, and the courses are good and the exam system is fair, so you’ll do well. Bags of success to you!

  • Britcellist says:

    Good for you girl! I wish you all the best for a great career.

  • Jaime Weisenblum says:

    And life brings us the unexpected surprises virtually every few days…
    Why not recognize an outstanding voice and a natural interpreter on her own merits,regardless of age or any other fact?
    Ms Le Van is brillant at this point of her life,let us encourage her and she should continue developing her singing the way she has done up to this point
    without the usual nasty(jealous??) comments from the so many “art experts” that have never either played or sung or danced any music,but are always ready to dismiss someone or something musically authentic or artistic.
    Take it from me,I know what I am saying.
    And kudos to the many that write correctly about what they hear and nothing else.

  • Erwin says:

    Talking about miraculous teenage voices, how about this girl…what a talent!!!