Head Shot High Resolution
(photo credit: Tara McMullen)
Recently appointed to the Order of Canada, renowned Acadian soprano Suzie LeBlanc was born in Edmunston, New-Brunswick. She sang in the choirs of her native Acadia and studied dance and harpsichord before studying singing in London, UK. From there, she began an international singing career specializing in early baroque repertoire; exploring and recording a substantial amount of previously unpublished material while resident in Europe. Her thirst and curiosity for new vistas then led her toward the repertoire of French mélodies, lieder, contemporary music, and Acadian folk music, as well as exploring the art of improvisation with the ensemble Mélosphere.
Suzie’s recordings have received international praise and several prestigious awards: a Grammy award for Lully’s Thésée; two Opus awards – best World Music recording for “Tempi con Variazioni”, and best contemporary music CD for her Messiaen cd; and a CINI award (Italy) for the opera “Orfeo” by Sartorio in which she sings the leading role. She has recorded for ATMA, Analekta, Harmonia Mundi, Hyperion, Chandos, Teldec, Das Alte Werk, among others.
She worked with The Consort of Musicke, Fretwork, Musica Antiqua Köln, Sequentia, the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, Tragicomedia, the Hilliard Ensemble, Concerto Palatino, Redbyrd and the Purcell Quartet as well as with several symphony orchestras in Canada and the US. Concerts have taken her to Festivals all over the world, as well as to the Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Wigmore Hall (London) and the Konzerthaus in Vienna. On the opera stage, she has performed for De Nederlandse Opera, Festival de Beaune, Opéra de Montréal, the Boston Early Music Festival, Tanglewood, Festival Vancouver and Early Music Vancouver.
Past performance highlights include the St. Matthew Passion at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, staged by Jonathan Miller, recitals and a recording of Mozart songs with renowned conductor Yannick Nezet-Seguin, Purcell’s The Faerie Queen at the Elora Festival and a collaboration with Maestro Kent Nagano and the Montreal Symphony in a programme of traditional Japanese songs.
In 2010, she was awarded a prestigious Career Grant from the Quebec Arts Council (CALQ) which helped her in the creation of several new projects, including the “Awakened Rose” project with recitals in Ontario in 2013 with pianist Julius Drake (London), and first steps towards the creation of a programme in honour of her mother, singer Marie-Germaine LeBlanc.
Suzie’s recent engagements included a world premiere of James Rolfe’s “Myth of Europa” with Toronto Masque Theatre, Handel duets with Daniel Taylor and the Theatre of Early Music, two new recordings – “La Veillée de Noël” with her own ensemble and “Metamorfosi” (Italian 17th century music) with Ensemble Constantinople as well as a programme on El Greco in Athens with Ensemble Constantinople and tenor Marco Beasley.
Engagements in 2015 include performances of the Elizabeth Bishop songs with The Victoria Symphony Orchestra and Symphony New Brunswick, Bach and Handel arias with Symphony Nova Scotia under the direction of Alexander Weimann, Mozart arias and Exultate Jubilate with Camerata NB and Michael Newnahm, 17th century duets with Dame Emma Kirkby with Les Idées Heureuses (Montreal), a Canadian music programme with Musikon in conjunction with the exhibition “Acadie Mythique” at St-Mary’s University in Halifax, Mahler’s 4th Symphony with the Prince Edward Island Symphony Orchestra as well as concerts in Montreal, Ottawa and Poland with Ensemble Constantinople.
Suzie plays the feature role in the film « Lost Song, » directed by Rodrigue Jean, which won the Best Canadian Feature Award at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). She can also be seen in the music films “More than a thousand kisses” and “Suzie LeBlanc and a man named Quantz”, both produced by the late Robert Chesterman for Prometheus Productions.
She is the artistic director of Le Nouvel Opéra (www.lenouvelopera.com) and heads a workshop every summer at the Orford Arts Centre Academy. Honorary doctorates from King’s College University in Halifax, Mount Allison University, Moncton University and Mount St. Vincent University recognize her contributions to Acadian culture with the CDs « La Mer Jolie » and « Tout passe, » and the documentary « Suzie LeBlanc: A Musical Quest », directed by Donald Winkler, as well as her extraordinary and prolific performances of Early Music.
In addition to her busy schedule as a performer and recording artist, Suzie LeBlanc is the honorary patron of the Elizabeth Bishop Society of Nova Scotia.
For more information, please visit her website at www.suzieleblanc.com.