Magazine article Opera Canada

Mahler-Wagner-Berlioz: Marie-Nicole Lemieux

Magazine article Opera Canada

Mahler-Wagner-Berlioz: Marie-Nicole Lemieux

Article excerpt

MAHLER-WAGNER-BERLIOZ Marie-Nicole Lemieux. Fortis Banque CYP9611. ****

In May, 2000, in Brussels, a young contralto from Dolbeau-Mistassini in Quebec named MarieNicole Lemieux won the first prize in the Queen Elizabeth International Music Competition of Belgium, as well as the special prize for lieder singing. This compellingly beautiful recording came as part of her victory, and it makes the exciting promise of this unique 24-year-old artist more widely available. Lemieux is truly a cause for celebration.

It is unusual to hear so true a contralto sound--a rich, expressive timbre with depth and power--which nevertheless retains a youthful radiance and freshness. Lemieux has an amplitude and ease in her lower register, and yet the sound never turns murky or forbidding; moreover, the range of her voice is so well equalized that she can soar freely into her top without losing a unified vocal character. She seems an intelligent, spontaneously communicative artist, capable, even at this early stage of her career, of inhabiting her music with a sense of personal vision. She does not sound quite like anyone else: how marvellous. …

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