The French-Canadian contralto Marie-Nicole Lemieux has signed an exclusive contract with Erato.
The relationship will begin with a recital album of Rossini arias in April next year. Lemieux took the programme into the studio in December, around the time of her performances with the orchestra and chorus of the Opéra National Montpellier Languedoc-Roussillon and conductor Enrique Mazzola.
‘It’s an absolute joy to join the Erato team on this new musical adventure,’ said Marie-Nicole Lemieux on joining the label. ‘The greatest artists of the past and present have left their mark on the label; their talent and vision have inspired and enchanted generations of music-lovers all over the world. Music is essential to the good of humanity and I hope from the bottom of my heart to share my love for this beautiful, deeply human art form that is singing. And who better than Rossini to celebrate with in all his musical splendor and generosity!’
Lemieux first came to prominence in 2000 when, aged 24 and in her first competition, she won First Prize and the Lied Prize at the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Belgium. In 2004 Gramophone highlighted her as ‘One to Watch’, at the time of release of a disc of Vivaldi’s Stabat Mater and Scarlatti’s Salve regina, on Analekta, a debut disc highly praised by critic Stanley Sadie. A further album for Analekta (Brahms), was followed by a series of discs for Naïve, including a performance of Orlando described as ‘astonishingly good, full of conviction, passionate, and vocally brilliant’, and a French song disc entitled 'Ne me refuse pas' which made it to the final three of the Recital category in the 2011 Awards).
Alain Lanceron, President of Warner Classics and Erato, said of the signing: ‘Marie-Nicole Lemieux is a unique and indispensable personality in the international opera landscape. I have known her practically since the beginning of her career and we have occasionally had the opportunity to collaborate. Welcoming her into the core roster of the Erato label is, for me, a great source of pride.’