Suzie Leblanc

Posted on Jul 24, 2014

Suzie Leblanc

Internationally renowned Acadian soprano Suzie LeBlanc has established an extraordinary career specializing in Baroque and Classical repertoire; exploring and recording a substantial amount of previously unpublished material while resident in Europe. Her thirst and curiosity for new vistas now lead her toward the repertoire of French mélodies, lieder and contemporary music, and Acadian folk music, as well as exploring the art of improvisation with the ensemble Mélosphere.

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 passé,” and the documentary “Suzie LeBlanc: A Musical Quest,” directed by Donald Winkler, as well as her extraordinary and prolific performances of Early Music.

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 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, and Das Alte Werk, among others.

She has worked with many of the world’s leading music ensembles in concert and opera performances, as well as on film and disc. 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.

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.

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 program of traditional Japanese songs. In addition, her schedule has called for concerts throughout Canada, the United States, Brazil, Argentina, Spain, England and France.

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 program in honor of her mother, singer Marie-Germaine LeBlanc. Marie-Germaine sang professionally from age 13 and won national contests when she was only 17. She came from a small village in New Brunswick but she did not let that stop her. Suzie is creating this program as an inspiration for young people to dream big.

Suzie’s upcoming engagements include performance of the Bishop songs with four Canadian orchestras (Manitoba Chamber, Victoria, New Brunswick and PEI); a world premiere of James Rolfe’s “Myth of Europe” with Toronto Masque Theatre; two new recordings: Acadian Candlemas (Christmas) with her own ensemble and Italian 17th with Ensemble Constantinople; the Acadian Congress in Edmunston, N.B.; and touring with both Baroque and modern ensembles throughout Quebec (Dan Taylor and Melosphere) and across North America (Ensemble Constantinople). Also, Suzie will perform Bishop songs for the Canadian Composers’ Festival in New York in October 2014.

In addition to her busy schedule as a performer and recording artist, Suzie LeBlanc is artistic director of Le Nouvel Opéra (www.lenouvelopera.com), and the honorary patron of the Elizabeth Bishop Society of Nova Scotia.