|Year of Birth:||1975|
Marie-Nicole Lemieux, C.M.,C.Q. (born June 26, 1975) is a Canadian coloratura contralto. She first came to the world's attention in 2000 when she became the first Canadian to win first prize at the Queen Elisabeth International Music Competition in Belgium. Since then Lemieux has established herself as one of the finest contraltos currently singing on the classical music stage, appearing with some of the world's best orchestras and singing with many great opera companies.Lemieux is admired for possessing an unusually flexible and beautiful contralto voice that does not have the heaviness that is often associated with her particular voice type. For this reason, Lemieux has become a favourite among lovers of Baroque opera and she is noted for her portrayal of characters in the operas of Handel and Vivaldi in particular. Her voice is admired for its richness, warmth and resonance and for its expressiveness and use of many different tone colours. Lemieux is also praised by critics for her stage presence and communicative power.
Marie-Nicole Lemieux was born in 1975 in Dolbeau-Mistassini, Quebec. In 1994, Lemieux entered the Chicoutimi Conservatoire de musique and began studying voice with Rosaire Simard. After graduating with a degree in voice in 1998, Lemieux continued with graduate studies at the Conservatoire de musique du Québec à Montréal with noted teacher Marie Daveluy. Lemieux graduated with a Masters in voice in 2000 and found almost immediate success. In the span of three weeks, Lemieux won first prize at both the Jeunesse Musicale du Canada's Joseph Rouleau Competition in Montreal and the Queen Elisabeth International Music Competition for opera in Brussels in 2000. Lemieux also took second prize in the separate competition for Lieder at the Queen Elisabeth International competition. Lemieux's success was immediately followed with invitations to perform and/or audition with many of the world's finest orchestras and opera companies.