Dominique Labelle’s voice has been called “angelic,” “silvery,” and “vibrant,” and she could easily lay claim to the title “diva.” Instead, she simply calls herself a musician, and takes greatest pride not in her rave reviews, but in her work with colleagues and in her probing explorations of the repertoire from the Baroque to new music. Her passionate commitment to music-making has led to close and enduring collaborations with a number of the world’s most respected conductors and composers, such as Iván Fischer, Nicholas McGegan, Jos van Veldhoven, Jean-Marie Zeitouni and Yehudi Wyner. She also treasures her long association with the late Robert Shaw.
Dominique’s many collaborations with Nicholas McGegan and his Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra include Handel’s Atalanta, Alexander’s Feast, and Teseo, which they revived at the 2014 Mostly Mozart Festival. Her appearances with Iván Fischer include the Countess Almaviva in Mozart’s Nozze di Figaro in Las Palmas and Budapest; a Bach B Minor Mass in Washington, DC, Bach, Matthew Passion with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra;as well as Mozart’s Requiem and a Bach St. Matthew Passion with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. She has also sung Britten’s Les Illuminations with Jean-Marie Zeitouni and I Musici de Montréal; Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Brahms Requiem, and Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with Zeitouni and the Columbus Symphony Orchestra.
Born in Montreal, Dominique enjoys sharing her technical and musical insights with young singers, and is Professor of Voice at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University. She has also taught master classes at The Classical Singers Convention in Boston, Harvard University, San Francisco Conservatory, Smith College, Vassar College, and the University of Massachusetts.
Benjamin Britten is one most important British composers from the second half of the twentieth century. Remarkably, he focused on opera, a dying genre, at least in its current form. Britten's contributions however, among which Peter Grimes, The Rape of Lucretia, Gloriana, The Turn of the Screw, and Death in Venice, managed to remain core repertoire for opera companies to this day. Many of these productions included a role for his artistic partner and life companion Peter Pears. Britten also wrote a number of lieder for this tenor, among which his Serenade for tenor, horn and string orchestra. Yet, Britten excelled in many more genres. He wasn't even 20 years old when he composed his brilliant Phantasy for hobo quartet and his friendship with the legendary cellist Rostropovich led to a Cello sonata, three Suites for cello solo and a Symphony for Cello and orchestra in the 1960s.
Britten never became Master of the Queen's Music, yet he surely had feeling for public sentiments. For example, as a pacifist, he taught his people about world peace through his War Requiem from 1962. Britten was an excellent interpreter of his own work, just like Bartók and Stravinsky. Many of his recordings have been matched, but never exceeded.