The Met mourns a French coach

The Met mourns a French coach


norman lebrecht

June 16, 2022

Colleagues are sharing their sadness at the death of Denise Massé, French repertoire coach and pianist for the Metropolitan Opera and the Juilliard School.

Raised in Canada, Denise worked first at the Opéra de Montréal in the 1980s before moving to New York. Latterly, she was inducted into the Canadian Opera Hall of Fame.

Full obituary here.


  • Susan Graham says:

    She was largely responsible for my success as a French singer. We spent countless hours, some involving Champagne, dissecting every nuance, color, expression of a French text. Nobody like her, ever. I am deeply saddened.

  • Tiredofitall says:

    Denise was a lovely lovely person. Rest In Peace.

  • Arthur Kaptainis says:

    A superb pianist. Worked as a répétitrice on Les Troyens, Pelléas and other OSM/Dutoit recordings. A favourite of Cecilia Bartoli.

  • Costa Pilavachi says:

    May I also express my sadness at the death of this wonderful woman who gave everything to her artists and to the operas she was tasked with. I had the pleasure of working with her on many occasions and I liked and admired her enormously.

  • Craig Rutenberg says:

    Denise was a wonderful musician and coach as well as a scintillating woman and colleague. It was my privilege to invite her to join the music staff of The Met in 1992.

    Denise had the talent and staying power to be part of that great team for nearly a quarter of a century and she was deeply loved and respected by singers, conductors and stage directors.

    She did not have an easy life, but she always gave generously and with passion.


  • Gregory Kunde says:

    So, so sorry to hear of her passing. She was a consummate musician and fantastic pianist and coach. I had the opportunity to work with her many times and she was so important to the success of every show she assisted and coached. More importantly, she was the sweetest and most kind person you’d ever meet.
    Rest In Peace, dear Denise.