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Dominique Labelle (Soprano, Mezzo-soprano)

Born: Montreal, Canada

The Canadian soprano (and mezzo-soprano), Dominique Labelle, was New England First Place Winner in 1989 and National Council Winner in 1989. She is a National Winner of the Metropolitan Opera competition, and is also the recipient of a George London Foundation Award, and Boston University's Distinguished Alumni Award.

Dominique Labelle first came to international prominence as Donna Anna in Peter Sellar’s stunning PepsiCo Summerfare Festival production of W.A. Mozart’s Don Giovanni, set in Spanish Harlem, which she performed in New York, Paris and Vienna. Since then she has been acclaimed in a repertoire that ranges from J.S. Bach to 2006 Pulitzer Prize winner, Yehudi Wyner. Whether in opera or in concert, the luminous beauty of her voice, her charismatic stage presence, and her impeccable musicianship are unmistakable. The San Francisco Chronicle called George Frideric Handel’s Belshazzar "a stunner even among the lofty company of Handel’s other oratorios" and, in a performance with Nicholas McGegan and the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, gave top vocal honors to Labelle, who sang Nitocris “with a glorious combination of dramatic fervor, tonal luxuriance and pinpoint accuracy". The Boston Globe and Boston Herald agree, "none can top her performing Bach". Of his St. Matthew Passion (BWV 244) the Herald reviewer noted, "Labelle singing ‘Aus Liebe’ in the second half of this extremely long program, made everyone forget how long they were sitting". Following a performance of J.S. Bach’s Cantata BWV 202, a Boston Globe critic wrote, "Really, everybody needs more Dominique in their lives. There’s operatic glamour in the voice and technique and control to burn".

Dominique Labelle is sought after by such conductors as Pierre Boulez, Bernard Haitink, Christopher Hogwood, Kurt Masur, Nicholas McGegan, John Nelson, Sir Roger Norrington, Seiji Ozawa, Leonard Slatkin, Michael Tilson Thomas, Franz Welser-Möst and David Zinman, and has sung with most of the major USA orchestras, including the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Houston Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra and San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, among many others. She is also a regular guest soloist in Europe.

Concert highlights for Dominique Labelle include Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 2, Francis Poulenc's Stabat Mater, Ravel's L'Enfant et les Sortileges, and L.v. Beethoven's Missa Solemnis and Symphony No. 9, both with the late Robert Shaw. She particularly enjoyed performances of the Symphony No. 9 with Kurt Masur and the New York Philharmonic on tour in Asia. Further highlighting her wide-ranging repertoire are acclaimed performances of G. Mahler, ("irreproachable accuracy, grace, and ease mark her interpretation"), of Verdi’s Requiem ("Astonishing distinction….Her tiny stature produced the ‘sound’ of a great Verdi soprano") and of Wyner’s songs ("mesmerizing beauty of tone, mastery of line, and intensity of focus making a deliciously evocative experience").

Certainly one of today's finest interpreters of G.F. Handel, Dominique Labelle is closely associated with his recently discovered Gloria. She presented the modern-day premiere of the Gloria at the International Händel Festival Göttingen, with Nicholas McGegan conducting the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, and has since performed it with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Wiener Akademie (In Vienna's Musikverein), among others. She is much in demand for performances of the works of J.S. Bach, G.F. Handel, and W.A. Mozart, with modern- and period-instrument orchestras alike.

Dominique Labelle's most recent opera roles include the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor (Seattle and Boston), Violetta in La Traviata (Boston), and the title role in G.F. Handel's Rodelinda (Göttingen). She reprised Donna Anna in an abridged film version of the work, starring Dmitri Hvorostovsky. Also available on home video is the PBS telecast of the Sellars production of Don Giovanni, which was broadcast internationally.

Outside North America, Dominique Labelle's engagements have included the International Händel Festival Göttingen, the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, BBC Proms, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, English Concert, Gabrieli Consort, Bach Collegium of Japan and Melbourne Symphony.

A committed recitalist, Dominique Labelle has touched audiences with her profound and sensitive interpretations of music and text. Her appearances have included solo recitals at New York's Weill Hall, Lincoln Center, the 92nd St. Y, The Vocal Arts Society in Washington, D.C., and appearances in Boston, Montreal, Moscow, Quebec and London, among others.

Dominique Labelle's many recordings, with repertoire from the 17th to the 21st centuries, appear on Virgin Veritas, Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, RCA Victor Red Seal, Koss, Denon, New World, and Musica Omnia labels. Her recording of G.F. Handel's Arminio won the 2002 Händel Prize. Increasingly many of these may be found on iTunes and other download services.

Dominique Labelle lives in central Massachusetts with her husband and two children, loves her garden with its fish pond, is an avid knitter who spins her own wool, and enjoys baking with a special interest in lemon pie. Dominique is related to Dame Emma Albani DBE, a leading soprano of the 19th and early 20th century, who was the first Canadian singer to become an international star. She is represented by Schwalbe and Partners.

Source: MET New England Region Website; Schwalbe and Partners, Inc. (February 2010)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (December 2004); Carrie Sykes - Executive Vice President, Schwalbe and Partners, Inc. (March 2010)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Iván Fischer


BWV 244 [1st]

Martin Haselböck


BWV 49, BWV 51

Roger Norrington


BWV 244

Dwight Oltman


BWV 4, BWV 11, BWV 31, BWV 244 [6th], BWV 245 [7th]

Sarasa Ensemble


BWV 32, BWV 202

Daniel Stepner


BWV 51

Links to other Sites

Dominique LaBelle (Official Website)
Dominique LaBelle, MET New England Region
Shannon 2004: Dominique Labelle
Soprano Dominique Labelle featured in Pacific Symphony opera
Schwalbe and Partners

Dominique Labelle (RI Philharmonic)
Saint Louis Symphony
Dominique Labelle (Ensemble Orchestral Paris) [French]

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Explanation | Acronyms | Missing Biographies | The Sad Corner


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Last update: Monday, May 29, 2017 11:00