Sydney Morning Herald
Following her Mozart recital in Turin, La Stampa’s music critic wrote:
“The evening’s success is due above all to soprano Suzie LeBlanc with her fresh and melodious voice. Her appearance and personality perfectly convey themselves on the opera stage in the roles of German girls, gentle and dreaming, of whom the prototype is Mozart’s Pamina… This small masterpiece (Alma grande e nobil core) demands from the singer a bit of aggressiveness… Mrs. LeBlanc’s interpretation was perfect in this regard.”
Internationally renowned, Acadian soprano Suzie LeBlanc has established an extraordinary career specializing in Baroque and Classical repertoire and exploring and recording a substantial amount of unpublished material while living in Europe. Her thirst and curiosity for new vistas now lead her toward the repertoire of French mélodies, lieder, Acadian folk music, contemporary music as well as exploring the art of improvisation with Helmut Lipsky and « Au parfum de Tango ».
Her contribution to Acadian culture with the CDs La Mer Jolie and Tout passe and with the documentary Suzie LeBlanc : A Musical Quest, directed by Donald Winkler, along with her performances of Early Music have earned her honorary doctorates from King’s College University in Halifax and Mount Allison University in New-Brunswick.
Her new recording of works by Olivier Messiaen, titled Chants de terre et de ciel, won the 2009 OPUS award for Best recording of the Year in contemporary music.
As an actress, she played the lead character in the film Lost Song directed by Rodrigue Jean which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in September 2008 and won the City TV Best Canadian Feature Award. She can also be seen on film in More than a thousand kisses (Bach’s Coffee Cantata) and Suzie LeBlanc and a man named Quantz, both produced by the late Robert Chesterman for Prometheus Productions.
She has worked with many of the world’s leading early music ensembles in concert and opera performances as well as on film and on disc. Concerts have taken her to Festivals all over the world as well as to the Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), the Wigmore Hall 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.
In recent seasons, she recorded Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte (Pamina) with La Petite Bande (Bayer Records) and Mozart lieder with Yannick Nézet-Seguin (ATMA) and returned to the Brooklyn Academy of Music for Bach’s St-Matthew Passion as staged by Jonathan Miller. Other recent recordings include Lully’s Thésée (CPO), Gluck’s Orphée (Naxos), Buxtehude motets with Emma Kirkby, Peter Harvey and the Purcell Symphony (Chandos), and a Handel Portrait (ATMA).
Following a busy summer (2008) with performances of Carissimi’s Jephte and Rameau’s Pygmalion in Ottawa and Vancouver, a recital with Daniel Taylor for the Toronto Summer Music Festival and concerts with Helmut Lipsky and « L’Art de Passage » in Kingston and Québec, she began the 2008/2009 season with a recital tour of French mélodie with pianist Robert Kortgaard. This was followed by Monteverdi’s Orfeo in Edmonton, Bach Cantatas in Vancouver, Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater with the Calgary Symphony and the St-Matthew Passion in Madrid and at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, staged by Jonathan Miller. She was also heard in the premiere of Vigneault’s Grand-messe in Québec for Festival de musique sacrée with Orchestre symphonique de Québec.
In 2009-2010, recent and upcoming engagements include a recital with Yannick Nézet-Seguin, performances of Purcell’s The Faerie Queen at the Elora Festival and for Early Music Vancouver, Purcell’s King Arthur with Toronto’s Tafelmusik, Messiah with Handel and Haydn Society of Boston and she collaborates with Kent Nagano and the Montreal Symphony in a programme of traditional Japanese songs. In addition, her schedule calls for Handel’s Israel in Egypt for the Mendelssohn Choir with Noel Edison, selected Bach Cantatas for Symphony Nova Scotia and later for Chicago’s Music of the Baroque, Johannes Passion for the Baldwin Wallace Bach Festival, the B Minor Mass for the Grand Philharmonic Choir of Kitchener, Fauré’s Requiem with the Windsor Symphony and a tour of France and the U.S. with Daniel Taylor and the Theatre of Early Music. Further tour destinations include Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Montevideo and Buenos Aires.
Suzie LeBlanc is artistic director of Le Nouvel Opéra (www.lenouvelopera.com) which is ensemble-in-residence at the Montreal Conservatory and co-artisic director of the Elizabeth Bishop Centenary Festival (2011) in Nova Scotia (www.elizabethbishopcentenary.blogspot.com).