Acclaimed for her luminous tone, her refined musicianship and her remarkable stage presence, French Quebec soprano Hélène Guilmette has been leading a great international career since she won Second Prize at the prestigious Queen Elisabeth Competition of Belgium in 2004. Holding a degree in musical education and piano from Laval University in Quebec, she did her vocal training with Marlena Malas in New York.
Over the years, she has been heard in the roles of Soeur Constance (Dialogues des Carmélites) in Munich, Bologna, Nice and at the Toronto’s COC, besides taking on the role of Blanche in Lyon and in Bologna ; Princesse Laoula (L’Étoile by Chabrier) at Dutch National Opera in Amsterdam and at the London Royal Opera House Covent Garden ; Pamina (Die Zauberflöte) in Brussels ; Musetta (La Bohème) at the Quebec Opera ; Servilia (La clemenza di Tito) and Zerlina (Don Giovanni) at the Montreal Opera ; Pedro (Don Quichotte by Massenet) at the New-National Theater of Tokyo and in Avignon ; Mélisande(Pelléas et Mélisande) in concert with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and at the Lyon Opera ; Thérèse (Les Mamelles de Tirésias) in Lyon, at the Opéra Comique and in concert with the BBC Symphony orchestra ; Amour (Orphée et Eurydiceby Gluck) at the Paris National Opera en then Eurydice at the Angers-Nantes Opéra, at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, in Lausanne and at the Opéra Comique ; Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro) in Lille, Montreal, Montpellier, Angers-Nantes and at the Paris Théâtre des Champs-Élysées ; Sophie (Werther) in Brussels, Strasbourg, Lille and at the Paris National Opera ; Nadia(Die lustige Witwe) and Hélène (Le Timbre d’argent) at the Opéra Comique ; Oriane (Amadis de Gaule) at the Opéra Royal de Versailles and at the Opéra Comique ; Andromède (Persée) by Lully in Metz, Versailles and at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées ; Hébé, Phani and Fatime (Les Indes galantes by Rameau) and Télaïre (Castor et Pollux) in Toulouse ; Mélisande (Ariane et Barbe-Bleue by Dukas) ; Frasquita (Carmen) at the Chorégies d’Orange and in Avignon ; Leila (Les Pêcheurs de perles) in Limoges and Reims, Les Boréades (Alphise) by Rameau in Dijon, Cendrillon (title role) in Nancy…
Hélène Guilmette also sang in recital and in concert at the Palace for Fine Arts in Brussels, the Concertgebow in Amsterdam, the Teatro Colòn in Buenos Aires, the Schwarzenberg’s Schubertiade, the Istanbul Festival, the Auditorium Parco della musica in Rome, the London Barbican Center, the Sydney’s City Recital Hall, the Carnegie Hall in New-York, the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris… in works including Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater with Andreas Scholl, Poulenc’s La Voix humaine, Gloria and Stabat Mater, Mozart’s Requiem and Great Mass in C minor, Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Schöpfung, Fauré’sRequiem, Mahler’s Symphony No. 4…
She has sung under the baton of Alain Altinoglu, Sylvain Cambreling, Marcus Creed, Paul Daniel, Ottavio Dantone, Stéphane Denève, Richard Egarr, Sir Mark Elder, Patrick Fournillier, Fabien Gabel, Paul Goodwin, Emmanuelle Haïm, Sigiswald Kuijken, Bernard Labadie, Jacques Lacombe, Ludovic Morlot, Kent Nagano, Kazushi Ono, Raphaël Pichon, Giuseppe Pietraroia, Michel Plasson, Jérémie Rhorer, François-Xavier Roth, Christophe Rousset, Andreas Scholl, Masaaki Suzuki, Marcello Viotti… and has collaborated with several renowned stage directors, such as Aurélien Bory, Robert Carsen, Patrice Caurier and Moshe Leiser, Mariame Clément, Piero Faggioni, Christophe Honoré, Benoît Jacquot, Guy Joosten, Macha Makeïeff, Jacques Leblanc, Laurent Pelly, Bernard Pisani, Olivier Py, Laura Scozzi, Jean-François Sivadier, Guillaume Vincent or Dmitry Tcherniakov.
Her discography includes: Airs chantés, French songs by Poulenc, Hahn and Daunais on Ambroisie Label, Il Duello Amoroso(Handel) alongside Andreas Scholl and the Accademia Bizantina and Dixit Dominus / Ode for the anniversary of Queen Anne (Handel) with the Akademie Für Alte Musik Berlin on Harmonia Mundi, Poulenc’s songs on ATMA, Les Amants trahis (Rameau) and L’Heure rose, French songs by women composers both on Analekta Label, L’Aiglon (Thérèse) by Honneger and Ibert with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and Kent Nagano on Decca label and Reynaldo Hahn’s L’Ile inconnue by Pallazzetto Bru Zane Editions. We can also see her on DVD in Dialogues des Carmélites (Soeur Constance) in Dmitry Tcherniakov’s production on Bel-Air media and Les Boréades on Erato.
Among her recent and future projects : La Caravane du Caire in Versailles, La Fille de Madame Angot (Clairette) at the Opéra Comique and, in concert, Polydore by Stuck in Budapest, Le Carnaval du Parnasse by Mondonville with Les Ambassadeurs.
This biography should not be edited without permission from Intermezzo.