Mireille Asselin, Soprano http://www.mireilleasselin.com/
A singer deemed “a treasure” by The Toronto Star and praised by Opera Canada as a “soprano that charms and brightens a room”, Mireille Asselin enjoys a diverse, international career spanning concert, opera and recital work. To date, Mireille has sung five seasons at the Metropolitan Opera, where she debuted as Poussette in MANON. She then made waves by jumping in as Adele for opening night of DIE FLEDERMAUS under the baton of James Levine, giving a performance that critics raved “stole the show”, hailing it as one of New York’s “most enchanting” of the season.
In 2019-2020 Mireille makes debuts with Théâtre des Champs Elysées in Paris (Zerlina, DON GIOVANNI), l’Orchestre de Chambre de Paris (Mozart’s REQUIEM), the Milwaukee Symphony (Handel’s MESSIAH) and the Caramoor Festival (Venus, Rameau’s DARDANUS). She also returns to sing at Carnegie Hall (Bach’s CHRISTMAS ORATORIO), Columbus Opera (Monteverdi’s POPPEA), and Opera Atelier (Zerlina, DON GIOVANNI). In addition, she will perform extensively with the Mirror Visions Ensemble in recitals across North America and her recording of Haydn’s HARMONIEMESSE with the Handel and Haydn Society will be released on the CORO label.
Her assignments at the Metropolitan Opera have included covers of Valencienne in THE MERRY WIDOW, Jemmy in GUILLAUME TELL and Rosina in IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA. As a respected interpreter of early music Mireille appears regularly with period groups such as Opera Atelier in Toronto and at the Boston Early Music Festival where her most recent roles have included Susanna (MARRIAGE OF FIGARO), Celia (LUCIO SILLA), Morgana (ALCINA), Galatea (ACIS AND GALATEA), Minerva (ULISSE), and La Musica/Euridice in ORFEO. Internationally, she has sung many roles at the Opéra Royal de Versailles (PERSÉE, MÉDÉE, PIGMALION), and performed in the UK with Garsington Opera (DON GIOVANNI), in Germany with the Göttingen International Handel Festival (BERENICE), and in Italy with the Rossini Opera Festival (RICCIARDO E ZORAIDE).
Mireille is an accomplished concert singer and recitalist and has appeared with many of North America’s major orchestras and festivals. She is also an acknowledged champion of contemporary music and has participated in a number of premieres and workshops of new compositions. Her discography includes two albums of Canadian repertoire – “Ash Roses” of music by composer Derek Holman on the Centrediscs label, and “Inspired by Canada – Notre Pays” with Marquis Classics and the Amici Chamber Ensemble. She is a core member of the Mirror Visions Ensemble and has even done film work, starring as Pamina in the feature film Magic Flute Diaries at the age of 21.
She obtained her Master of Music from Yale University’s prestigious Opera Program in 2010, and was a member of the Canadian Opera Company’s Ensemble Studio (2011-12 & 2012-13 seasons). Prior to her studies at Yale, she completed a Bachelor of Music at the Glenn Gould School of The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto (2007).
|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)