Soprano Dominique Labelle, whose voice has been called “angelic,” “silvery,” and “vibrant,” could easily lay claim to the title “diva.” Instead, she simply calls herself a musician, and takes greatest pride not in her rave reviews, but in her work with colleagues and in her probing explorations of the repertoire from the Baroque to new music.
Throughout her career she has fearlessly plumbed the technical and emotional depths of music, turning in performances of “almost alarming ferocity” (San Francisco Chronicle), possessed of “conviction but without exhibitionism” (De Telegraf), that have “the audience hanging on every note” (Boston Globe). Her legendary musicianship and passionate commitment to music-making have led to close and enduring collaborations with a number of the world’s most respected conductors and composers, most recently Nicholas McGegan, Sir Roger Norrington, Iván Fischer, Jos van Veldhoven, Jean-Marie Zeitouni and the Pulitzer Prize winning composer Yehudi Wyner. She also treasures her long association with the late Robert Shaw.
She collaborates frequently with Nicholas McGegan and his Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, most recently in Handel’s Atalanta and Alexander’s Feast, and again in April 2013 in Handel’s Teseo. Her recent and upcoming appearances with Iván Fischer include the Countess Almaviva in Mozart’s Nozze di Figaro in Las Palmas and Budapest; a Bach B Minor Mass in Washington, D.C.; a Bach St. Matthew Passion with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra; and Mozart’s Requiem with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s.She reunites with Fischer and St. Luke’s in March 2013 forthe St. Matthew Passion. Jean-Marie Zeituni has invited her to sing Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, the Brahms Requiem and Barber's Knoxville Summer of 1915 in the coming Columbus Symphony season.
In January and February 2012 she sang the lead female role in the modern premiere of Monsigny’s Le Roi et le Fermier for Opera Lafayette, conducted by Ryan Brown, in performances at the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, and Versailles, which has been recorded for Naxos. Recent and upcoming engagements also include Mozart’s Requiem with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, a Messiah tour with Jos van Veldhoven and the Netherlands Bach Choir, Handel's Solomon with the Radio Kamer Filharmonie in the Netherlands, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with Voices of Ascension in New York; a program of Bach cantatas and Villa Lobos’ Bachianas Brasilieras at Aston Magna; Ravel and Rossini at the Mt. Desert Festival of Chamber Music; and Clerambault’s Médée and an all-Purcell concert with the Four Nations Ensemble.
In addition to her renowned Handel, Mozart and Bach, she is drawn to modern music. She recently sang Seven Romances on Poetry of Alexander Blok by one of her favorite modern composers, Shostakovich, at the Mt. Desert Festival of Chamber Music in Maine in 2011 and in New York at Bargemusic. Her recent performance of Britten’s Les Illuminations with the New England String Ensemble and Susan Daveny Wyner was called “heated” and “voluptuous” by the Boston Globe. She has performed and recorded John Harbison’s The Rewaking with the Lydian String Quartet.
Dominique Labelle first came to international prominence as Donna Anna in Peter Sellars’ daring production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni, which she performed in New York, Paris, and Vienna. She has also won great acclaim for her portrayal of Micaela in Bizet’s Carmen: “You would have to go back to the young Mirella Freni to find a Micaela to rival the golden-throated Labelle… her singing is enough to give you religion,” wrote Richard Dyer of the Boston Globe.
Among her numerous recordings of opera and concert repertoire is Monsigny’s Le Déserteur,with Opera Lafayette and Ryan Brown (Naxos). She can also be heard on recordings on the Virgin Veritas, Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, RCA Victor Red Seal, Koss, Denon, New World, Carus and Musica Omnia labels. Her recording of Handel’s Arminio (Virgin Classics) won the 2002 Handel Prize.
Born in Montreal and trained at McGill and Boston Universities, Ms. Labelle enjoys sharing her technical and musical insights with young singers, and has taught master classes at Harvard University, McGill, Smith College, and the University of Massachusetts with more being planned. She lives in central Massachusetts with her husband and two children.
Ms. Labelle is represented by Schwalbe and Partners.