Neghittosi or voi che fate: Ariodante (G.F. Handel)
Mireille Asselin, soprano
Frédéric Lacroix, piano
A singer deemed “a treasure” by the Toronto Star, Canadian soprano Mireille Asselin enjoys a diverse, international career spanning concert, opera and recital work. To date, Mireille has sung five seasons at the Metropolitan Opera, where she made waves by jumping in as Adele for the opening night of Die Fledermaus under the baton of James Levine, giving a performance that critics raved “stole the show”, hailing it as one of New York’s “most enchanting” of the season.
In the 2022-23 season Ms. Asselin will perform as Barbarina in Le nozze di Figaro with the Canadian Opera Company, Belinda in Dido and Aeneas with Opera Atelier, and star in a staged version of Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater with Edmonton Opera. She will also make her debut with the National Arts Centre Orchestra singing Messiah and return to the NAC in the spring for a performance of Don Giovanni in her signature role as Zerlina. In addition, she will tour a variety of programmes with the Mirror Visions Ensemble, giving both concerts and masterclasses across North America.
In recent years, Ms. Asselin has made debuts with the Champs-Elysées Theater in Paris and the UK’s Garsington Opera (Zerlina, Don Giovanni), Vancouver Opera (Amore, Orfeo ed Euridice), the Milwaukee and Rhode Island Symphony Orchestras (Handel’s Messiah), the Orchestre de Chambre de Paris (Mozart’s Requiem) and with Toronto Summer Music and the Rockport Chamber Music Festivals. She also returned to Carnegie Hall in NYC (Bach’s Christmas Oratorio), to Opera Atelier in Toronto (Zerlina, Don Giovanni), and to Re:Naissance Opera in Vancouver (Rivers Of Grief). Additionally, Ms. Asselin toured extensively with the Mirror Visions Ensemble, performing recitals across North America and Europe.
When the pandemic shuttered stages around the globe, she appeared on several filmed releases by Opera Atelier (Something Rich and Strange & Angel), and Soundstreams Theatre (Garden of Vanished Pleasures), created and sang Our Song d’Hiver with Tapestry Opera, and was seen on streams done by Boston Early Music Festival (Orfeo & La descente D’orphée), the Mirror Visions Ensemble (Midnight Magic), and Thirteen Strings (Dies Natalis), among others.
In her five seasons at the Met, Ms. Asselin performed Adele in Die Fledermaus and Poussette in Manon, and covered Valencienne in The Merry Widow, Jemmy in Guillaume Tell and Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia. As a respected interpreter of early music, Ms. Asselin appears regularly with period groups such as the Boston Early Music Festival and Opera Atelier, where her most recent roles have included Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro), Créuse (Médée), Celia (Lucio Silla), Morgana (Alcina), Galatea (Acis and Galatea), Minerva (Ulisse), and La Musica/Euridice (Orfeo). She made her European opera debut as Princesse Andromède (Persée) at Versailles in 2014, sang the title role in Handel’s Berenice at the 2016 Göttingen International Handel Festival in Germany, and worked at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro, Italy, covering the title role in Ricciardo e Zoraide.
As a member of the Canadian Opera Company’s Ensemble Studio, she performed Adele in Die Fledermaus, Servilia in La clemenza di Tito, and the title role in Handel’s Semele (studio performance). Her operatic credits elsewhere include Eurydice (Glück/Berlioz Orphée), Despina (Così fan tutte), Thérèse (Les mamelles de Tirèsias), Nannetta (Falstaff), Musetta (La bohème), the title role in Stravinsky’s Rossignol, Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi), and Soeur Constance (Dialogues des Carmélites).
Ms. Asselin is an accomplished concert singer and recitalist and has appeared with many of North America’s major orchestras and festivals including the Minnesota Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Calgary and Edmonton Symphony Orchestras, Les Violons du Roy, Festival de Lanaudière, the Ottawa Chamberfest and the Music & Beyond Festival. She is an acknowledged champion of contemporary music and has done a number of premieres and workshops of new compositions, in addition to participating in the ground-breaking development of VR techniques for opera by originating the role of Eurydice in ORPHEUS VR with Re:Naissance Opera. In April 2011, she made her Carnegie Hall debut singing Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem and returned to Carnegie in January of 2012 to give a recital in Marilyn Horne’s The Song Continues series. She is an avid recitalist and is a core member of The Mirror Visions Ensemble, a vocal chamber music collective.
Her discography includes two albums of Canadian repertoire – Ash Roses of music by composer Derek Holman on the Centrediscs label, and Inspired by Canada – Notre Pays with Marquis Classics, the latter being a solo album of Canadian popular and traditional songs recorded alongside the legendary Amici Chamber Ensemble. She also appears on the CORO label for Handel and Haydn Society's recording of Haydn's Harmoniemesse. In addition, she has done film work, starring as Pamina in the feature film Magic Flute Diaries at the age of 21.
Ms. Asselin obtained her Master of Music from Yale University’s prestigious Opera Program in 2010 and was a member of the Canadian Opera Company’s Ensemble Studio (2011-2013). Prior to her studies at Yale, she completed a Bachelor of Music at the Glenn Gould School of The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto (2007). She was a Filene Artist with Wolf Trap Opera (2013 & 2014) and trained as a young artist with the Glimmerglass Festival (2012), Opera NUOVA (2008) and Centro Studi Lirica (2005). She studied art song at Toronto Summer Music (2011), Handel oratorio at the Britten-Pears Programme (2008 & 2010), baroque music at the Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute (2007) and contemporary vocal music with Queen of Puddings Summer Music Theatre (2007). Ms. Asselin was born in Ottawa, Canada, and is both an American and Canadian citizen.