Mireille Asselin, Soprano http://www.mireilleasselin.com/
Soprano Mireille Asselin, hailed for her “crystalline voice” and “abundant charm,” continues to build an already exciting career in 2017-2018. A return to her native Canada, for Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro with Opera Atelier, precedes her fifth season at the Metropolitan Opera, where she covers Valencienne in The Merry Widow. Ms. Asselin “stole the show” in her 2015 Met debut as Adele in Die Fledermaus, conducted by James Levine.
A champion of contemporary music, Ms. Asselin is also developing the role of Eleanor of Aquitaine in Sanctuary and Storm, a new opera for Re:Naissance Opera in Toronto, with preview performances planned for January 2018. In April 2018, she makes a role and company debut as Eurydice in Opera Columbus’s new production of Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice (in the Berlioz version), adding to an operatic repertoire that includes such roles as Pamina, Nannetta, Musetta, and Thérèse (Poulenc’s Les Mamelles de Tirésias).
During the 2016-2017 Metropolitan Opera season, Ms. Asselin covered the roles of Jemmy in Guillaume Tell and Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia. Audiences at Opera Atelier and the Royal Opera of the Palace of Versailles saw her as Créuse in Charpentier’s Medée. She also made notable concert debuts with the Minnesota Orchestra, in Handel’s Messiah, and with Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society, as Iris in Semele.
Appropriately for such a versatile artist, Ms. Asselin’s concert and recital dates in 2017-2018 include a Boston recital of travel songs by Barber, Berlioz, and others in September, and a debut in November with the North Carolina Symphony, singing the soprano solos in Mozart’s Requiem and the Vaughan Williams Pastoral Symphony. In February 2018, she joins members of the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, dancers from Opera Atelier, and others, in Toronto for a reprise of Harmonia Sacra, a recital of sacred works by Purcell. The group first performed this highly successful program in May 2017 in the Palace of Versailles in France.
|Britten||A Midsummer Night’s Dream||Helena, Tytania|
|La couronne de fleurs||La déesse Flore|
|La descente d’Orphée aux enfers||Aréthuze, Proserpine|
|La fille du régiment||Marie|
|Gluck||Iphigénie en Tauride||Diane|
|Handel||Acis and Galatea||Galatea|
|Humperdinck||Hänsel und Gretel||Gretel|
|Monteverdi||Orfeo||Euridice, La Musica|
|Minerva||Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria|
|Mozart||La Clemenza di Tito||Servilia|
|Così fan Tutte||Despina|
|Le Nozze di Figaro||Susanna|
|Die Zauberflöte||Pamina, Papagena|
“Almost all of Helen’s character gets revealed from Asselin’s facial mannerisms, perhaps an unintentional bit of stage-craft symbolism for the most beautiful of mortals. Slyly pointing out a handsome athlete to her cohort, struggling to maintain composure as Paris sings, eyes blazing in frustrated fury – Asselin’s face unmasked Helen’s personality. She acted and sang marvelously.”
“As the perky maid Adele, Mireille Asselin, a young Canadian coloratura soprano with a light, sweet voice and abundant charm, substituted for Lucy Crowe, who was ill.”
“The soprano Mireille Asselin performed the maid Adele, replacing Lucy Crowe, who was ill. Asselin brought her lovely lyrical voice to the role, supported by a strong technique. Her coloratura was smooth and effortless, and her high notes were especially memorable in her arias… It was an impressive performance.”
“Possessed of a beautiful crystalline voice with a cool, bright middle register and clear-as-a-bell top, Asselin has a natural charm in her voice and in her bearing. Her vibrato is tight but not too rapid, perfect for this tittering role…We would be lucky indeed to hear work like this every night from the names at the top of the program.”
Soprano Mireille Asselin stole the show. She sounded flawless, with seemingly endless creative possibilities in her voice. Mireille is an Early Music pro as well, and she gave a lesson in how to ornament an aria; starting purely from her voice, she didn’t let a word go by without a specific interpretation. Morgana had the precious few moments of comedic relief during the show, and her hilarious staging of “Tornami a vagheggiar” is now officially the New and Improved Coat Aria (go see it, you’ll agree). Also, she plays a mean air-harpsichord.
“Asselin, a recognized champion of new music, sings with confidence, security, and high expression.”
“The first great pleasure came from Mireille Asselin, whose presence lit up the stage whether as the coquettish Flore flirting with the dancing Zephyrs, or in the Underworld as a gravely regal Persephone. Her bright clear soprano brought sparkle to ‘La Couronne de Fleurs’. In ‘La Descente’, her expression of the text gave Persephone warmth and dignity.”
“The biggest contrast of the evening was between the two works featuring the winning Canadian soprano Mireille Asselin: Samuel Barber’s 15-minute-long, 1947 ‘Knoxville Summer of 1915’ … and Gustav Mahler’s 55-minute 1902 Symphony in G Major…. With a fresh, agile voice, Asselin was excellent in both settings. Her operatic training served her well, especially in telling Agee’s story in singing prose. Reaching out to the audience in voice and in character, her subtle gestures in lines such as when the night locusts ‘enchant my eardrums’ and the quick drama of ‘the stars wide and alive,’ were captivating.”
“Both pieces benefited from consistently stylish singing, with Mireille Asselin… standing out among this capable ensemble cast.”
“Both works featured outstanding performances by the leads, namely Mireille Asselin’s ‘Flore’ in La Couronne, and Aaron Sheean’s ‘Orphée’ in La Descente. Aside from their exceptional musical artistry, both displayed an excellent grasp of the ‘elegant artifice’ of the Baroque acting style.
“Flore’s (Mireille Asselin) invocation of the coming of spring at the opening of La Couronne, for example, was immediately engaging — graceful and effervescent, (and quite impressive considering that Asselin had been holding a still pose at the front of the stage for almost thirty minutes while the audience was seated).”
To my ear, none of the singers, save one, gave completely convincing performances… This is a score that demands excellence at a high level. That one exception was Mireille Asselin as Morgana, who was seductive, charming and dramatically powerful.
To my ear, none of the singers, save one, gave completely convincing performances. They all had moments of power and beauty, but this is a score that demands excellence at a high level . That one exception was Mireille Asselin as Morgana, who was seductive, charming and dramatically powerful.
MediaMusic For A While, by Henry Purcell
In uomini, in soldati (Mozart, Così fan tutte)
"Wir geniessen die himmlischen Freuden” (Mahler’s 4th Symphony) at Royal Conservatory Orchestra
"Rejoice greatly" (Handel's Messiah)
"Mein Herr Marquis" (Die Fledermaus, Strauss)