"I am 3/4ths Canadian, and one 4th New Englander - I had ancestors on both sides in the Revolutionary war." - Elizabeth Bishop

Friday, July 10, 2015

Music from the 45th Parallel North at the Elizabeth Bishop Festival: Profile of singer Suzie LeBlanc

The Elizabeth Bishop Festival on 8 August 2015 concludes with an exciting concert featuring four superbly accomplished, world-class artists: singer Suzie LeBlanc, and musicians David Greenberg, Nick Halley and Kiya Tabassian – with special guest Michel Angers. Suzie has created a brand new program which is being shared first with Nova Scotia audiences. The EBSNS is partnering with Musique Royale (http://www.musiqueroyale.com/events.html), which is presenting this exciting concert at three other venues across the province. This post is a profile of Suzie LeBlanc.
Suzie LeBlanc (http://suzieleblanc.com) was born in Acadia, and fell in love with the Baroque early in life. Now an international star, the charismatic soprano provides convincing evidence for the popularity of Early Music while exploring French mélodies, lieder, Acadian folk music, contemporary music and, with Ensemble Mélosphère, the art of improvisation.
Suzie was recently appointed to the Order of Canada for her contribution to Acadian culture and to the performance of Early Music, and has also earned four honorary doctorates and a career grant from the Conseil des Arts du Québec.
Suzie’s recordings have received several prestigious awards, including a Grammy award for a recording of Lully’s Thésée with the Boston Early Music Festival, an Opus awards for best world music recording — “Tempi con Variazioni” — and best contemporary album, for a disc of early songs by Olivier Messiaen. In 2014, she was awarded ECMA’s Best Classical Album (2014) for “I am in need of music” (http://www.musiccentre.ca/node/77772), which was also a finalist for the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia Masterworks Award.
2015 is a busy year for Suzie, including the songs on poems by Elizabeth Bishop from her CD “I am in need of music” with the Victoria, P.E.I. and New Brunswick symphony orchestras; Mozart arias with Symphony New-Brunswick; a duet concert with Emma Kirkby and Les Idées Heureuses and multiple appearances at the Montreal Baroque Festival. She also teaches at the Orford Arts Centre Academy in June and at the Lunenburg Academy of Music Performance (LAMP) in the fall.
Suzie is the founder and artistic director of Montreal’s Le Nouvel Opéra and the honorary patron of the Elizabeth Bishop Society of Nova Scotia.

[Ed. Note: Like Elizabeth Bishop (and perhaps even more extensively), Suzie is a world traveller. The music of this concert will, in part, reflect this experience, which echoes in so many ways with Bishop’s own life. Elizabeth Bishop had many “Questions of Travel” and Suzie’s exploration of the world through music is a journey that would have enthralled Bishop herself. The EBSNS is thrilled to have Suzie and her fellow musicians to take us on this journey in Great Village.]

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