Orphée et Eurydice, Gluck arr. Berlioz / Opera Atelier with Tafelmusik
Baroque Orchestra/D. Fallis/M. Pynkoski
‘Appearing as Orpheus, mezzo-soprano Mireille Lebel wholeheartedly embodies the purposeful hero, vocally and physically focused, bravely confronting the great Berlioz challenge.’ ’Faced with the reality of transposition, Lebel reaches to the extreme limits of her instrument, extracting a tender poignant sound tinted with tragedy.
Her rendition of Orpheus’ exultant, L’amour vient rendre à mon âme (“Hope is reborn in my soul”), complete with filigreed coloratura, rare in a work built largely on accompanied recitative, ends Act I on a thrilling note. Lebel’s cadenza is extraordinary, transitioning from a cappella back to full orchestra with breathtaking precision. Her gentle, understated handling of Gluck’s lovely showstopper, J’ai perdu mon Eurydice (“What shall I do without my Eurydice”), quite rightly commands sustained applause.’
Opera Going Toronto
Canadian mezzo−soprano Mireille Lebel grew up in Vancouver and studied music at the University of Toronto and the University of Montreal. Following her studies she was awarded major grants by the Canada Council and the Jacqueline Desmarais Foundation and furthered her artistic training as a member of the Atelier Lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal. In 2009, she was a winner of the Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques Competition that earned her an invitation to join the Ensemble of Theater Erfurt. Throughout her time in the Ensemble, she sang leading roles in the lyric mezzo fach. She is now making critically successful debuts with opera companies and orchestras in Europe and North America. Mireille resides in Berlin.
Mireille Lebel begins the 2018/2019 season with a series of diverse concert programmes in her native Canada. For Arte Musica, she will sing Schoenberg’s iconic Pierrot Lunaire paired with the world premiere of Sur les pas de la lune by Kelly-Marie Murphy. With IMusici and Jean-Marie Zeitouni she will sing works by Ana Sokolovic, Eric Champagne, Respighi, and Britten, themed around The Spirit of a Woman. Returning to sing with Les Violons du Roy and Bernard Labadie, she will be the mezzo-soprano soloist in Haydn’s Nelson Mass and Mozart’s Coronation Mass. Mireille will make her role and house début in the title role of Offenbach’s La Belle Hélène with Opéra national de Lorraine and make return engagements as Siébel in Faust with Vancouver Opera and as Carmen in a new production directed by Paul-Émile Fourny at the Opéra de Metz. Mireille will also make her 6th recording with the Boston Early Music Festival singing the role of La conversation in Charpentier’s Les plaisirs de Versailles.
In the 2017/2018 season Mireille returned to Opera Atelier as Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro and in a role début as Penelope in Il ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria. On the concert platform, she made two high profile last minute replacements, the first for mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kozena singing an all Handel programme with Bernard Labadie and Les Violons du Roy. Of the concert, Christophe Huss of Le Devoir wrote she had a “radiant stage presence” and “mastered this repertoire perfectly”. She also stepped in for Christianne Stotijn singing the world premiere of Samy Moussa’s Ahania’s Lament conducted by Christoph Eschenbach at the Schleswig Holstein Music Festival. Other concert engagements included the Messiah with The Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and a reprisal of her role as the Archangel in Dubois’ Le Paradis Perdu with Jean-Claude Malgoire at L’Atelier lyrique de Tourcoing. She made a role début as Siébel in Faust with Jacques Lacombe and the OSTR and was invited to sing Carmen in a gala concert with Zbyněk Müller and the Košice Philharmonic. In Meaux, France, she recorded Schoenberg’s 2nd String Quartet with the Richter Ensemble.
In the 2016/2017 season Mireille made her role début as Charlotte in Werther at the Opéra Théâtre de Metz, Opéra de Massy, and Opéra de Reims. She made her house début in the Vancouver Opera’s inaugural festival season as Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro. In May she sang the Archangel in Théodore Dubois’ rarity Le paradis perdu with conductor Jean-Claude Malgoire at the Montréal Festival Classica. She made her début in the UK singing Bach’s Cantata BWV 206 with the London Bach Society, led by Rodolfo Richter, and an all Vivaldi programme in Austria with Ensemble Castor led by Enrico Onofri. She made return engagements with Jean-Marie Zeitouni and IMusici de Montréal singing Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, and with the Boston Early Music Festival as Minèrve in Campra’s Le carnaval de Venise.