DEVELOPING ARTISTS GRANTS
2008 Grant Recipient
Classical Voice Winner
Valérie Bélanger is a 24-year-old soprano from Lambton, Quebec . A student at the Quebec City Conservatory of Music since 2003, she is currently pursuing a Diploma of Advanced Studies II in Music (equivalent to Master's level studies at a university) under the tutelage of Hélène Fortin. Her studies have also included participation in summer programs at the University of Sherbrooke , the Camp musical du Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean and the Domaine Forget Music and Dance Academy .
Valérie received the highest mark of any voice student in the music conservatories throughout Quebec when she took her final DESM l exam in April 2007 and has placed in the top four of her age group at the national finals of the Canadian Music Competition for the past three years. Her performance experience includes concerts with the Grand Orchestre des jeunes de Québec, the Quebec City Symphony Orchestra and the Multiphonique chamber music vocal ensemble.
According to Hélène Fortin, voice teacher at the Quebec City Conservatory, "Valérie has a very pure tone, vocal agility, great musical and emotional maturity and innate stage presence. Her voice has the colour and agility necessary for the performance of oratorio and the baroque and classical repertoire. She sings German lieder and French music with ease. Opera gives her the opportunity to demonstrate her acting talent and the flamboyant side of her personality. She sings with ease in six languages. This young singer has everything she needs for a successful career as a classical soloist."
The Hnatyshyn Foundation classical voice jury, consisting of Helen Pridmore, Mel Braun and Lynn Channing, were equally enthusiastic about Valérie's potential. "This is such an exciting voice! The music was presented with grace, elegance and polish. Her singing was absolutely outstanding in every way. Technique was faultless, diction ever-so-clear, musicality and style stunning, vocal line gorgeous and characterization masterful. A lovely silvery tone capable of singing in many genres."