Artist Of The Week: Marie-Nicole Lemieux

By Francisco Salazar

Marie-Nicole Lemieux is one of the most sought after contraltos of her generation.

She has performed around the world in every major theater including the Teatro alla Scala, Salzburg Festival, Opéra National de Paris, the Teatro Real in Madrid, the Gran Teatre del Liceu, and the Wiener Staatsoper, among others. This week she will finally make her long overdue Metropolitan Opera.

The contralto is set to perform the role of Geneviève in “Pelléas et Mélisande,” a role she has taken on to great acclaim in Berlin, Vienna, and London. Critics raved about her interpretation when she sang the opera in Montreal and said, “she made her presence felt by projecting an irresistible air of majestic authority.”

The run of “Pelléas et Mélisande” is actually the first of two runs that Lemieux will star in this winter at the Met. After the Debussy, she will bring her acclaimed Miss Quickly to the stage in “Falstaff.” It will indeed be a chance for Met audiences to discover the singer in the next two months.

And after the Met, Lemieux will be part of a tour of “Agrippina” with Joyce DiDonato, Franco Fagioli, Kathryn Lewek and Jakub Józef Orliński. She also sings the role of Azucena at the Teatro Real de Madrid.


It’s hard to pick a recording of Lemieux as she has numerous DVDs and CDs. However, for those interested in seeing her interpretation of Geneviève, there is a DVD from Vienna with Natalie Dessay available. She also has her Miss Quickly interpretation on DVD from the Glyndebourne Festival.

One other recording OperaWire recommends is her recent “Les Troyens” with Joyce DiDonato and John Nelsens.

Here is Lemieux as Miss Quickly from the Glyndebourne Festival.


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