Known for her warm tone and her dramatic verve, French-Canadian soprano Valérie Bélanger is very active on the Montreal operatic and concert scenes. She recently was lauded for her interpretation of Atalanta in Opera da Camera’s daring production of Händel’s Xerxès. During the previous seasons, the soprano sang regularily with the up-and-coming company, interpreting Noémie in Massenet’s Cendrillon in February 2014 and making her debut as Susanna in their inaugural production of Le Nozze di Figaro in 2013. In the recent years, Ms. Bélanger also worked with Opéra-Théâtre de Rimouski, singing in the Canadian première of Adolphe Adam’s Le Postillon de LongjumeauI (Madeleine), as well as in Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice (L’Amour). With Opéra de Québec, she was Gertrude in the Quebec City Opera Festival’s production of Nelligan, and with Jeunesses Musicales du Canada, she toured across the country as the spunky Adina in L’Elisir d’amore.
For her performance as Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro, Opera da Camera), Lev Bratishenko, journalist at the Montreal Gazette, wrote that “Bélanger was magical as Susanna, a natural actress with a creamy voice and an easy, apparent joy […].” while the magazine Opera Canada noted: “the show’s star was Valérie Bélanger as Susanna, [being] a natural whose beautiful soprano was well projected and her dramatic verve exceptionnal.”
On the concert scene, Ms. Bélanger has been a soloist in Gilles Vigneault’s Grand-Messe, J.S. Bach’s Canatatas BWV 23, 31 and 42, Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater and in the oratorios Die Shöpfung (Haydn) and Jephtha (Händel), among others. Passionate about chamber music, her credits include many pieces for voice and luth or guitar as well as songs for piano, voice and flute, clarinet or horn and Hindemith’s chamber cantata “Die Serenaden, op. 35”.
The soprano was awarded the 2nd Prize in the Opera category during the 6th edition of Concours international de chant lyrique de Canari in Corsica, France and she was a finalist and grant recipient in Altamura/Caruso International Voice Competition, New York. Ms. Bélanger was also one of a small number of singers to ever receive the Developing Artist Grant in Classical vocal performance from the Hnatyshyn Foundation, an award given once a year to a “promising young Canadian performing artist”.
Her engagements for the 2015/16 season include the roles of Gretel (Hänsel und Gretel, Humperdinck) and Despina (Così fan tutte, Mozart) with Opera da Camera and concerts with the musicians of Serenata at St. John’s, as part of their chamber music concert series, in Montreal.