Marie-Josée Lord

 Marie-Josée Lord. Soprano. Born Léogane, Haiti 18 Jan 1972.

Education and Awards

Lord, an orphan from Haiti, arrived in Canada at an early age, adopted by a Québec family. She began piano lessons at seven, studied violin as a teenager and graduated from Marcelle-Mallet private secondary school in Lévis. Although she pursued piano at the Conservatoire de musique (CMQ) in Québec City, Lord realized that she was not passionate about the instrument or a career in music, but all this changed dramatically when she overheard a vocal workshop by chance. She became aware that voice was her calling, and following some private lessons she re-auditioned for the CMQ (as a mezzo-soprano) and entered the class of Jacqueline Martel-Cistellini in 1992.

Lord progressed rapidly, gave her first recital in1966, and won roles in student opera productions. In 1999 she left Québec City for l'Opera de Montréal's Atelier Lyrique where an understudy role in a summer production of La Traviata led to studies with Lyne Fortin.

Lord won the Fondation de l'Opéra de Québec's prix Raoul-Jobin (1998) and the Prix d'excellence des arts et de la culture (2005). On an international level she placed sixth in the Concours international de chant de Verviers (Belgium 2001), and represented Canada in the prestigious Cardiff Singer of the Word Competition (Wales 2005).

She also honed her skills in masterclasses with sopranos Victoria de Los Angeles and Susan Patterson and conductors Edoardo Müller, Christian Badea and Victor DeRenzi.

Professional Roles

Lord (now a soprano) made her professional opera debut as Liu in Turandot (Opéra de Québec, 2003), which she again performed in Montréal. Other roles with the Opéra de Montréal soon followed: Mimi in La Boheme (2004), the title role in Suor Angelica (2006), and Nedda in I Paggliacci (2009).

A versatile performer, Lord portrayed Marie-Jeanne in the symphonic version of the rock opera Starmania with the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal (2004) a role she reprised at the Palais de Congrès in Paris (2005). She has performed in recitals in the USA and across Canada from New Brunswick to British Columbia singing in many languages and many popular musical styles.

Lord has appeared on CBC radio and television including the popular French language show "Tout le monde en parle". She has given voice masterclasses at the CMQ (2008, 2009/10). In 2010, along with other Quebec artists including Bruno Pelletier, Diane Dufresne and Mario Pelchat, she participated in Ensemble for Haïti a French Canadian relief concert in aid of victims of that year's catastrophic earthquake.

Lord's first solo CD included selections from Porgy and Bess, La Boheme, Andrea Chenier and Starmania (ATMA Classics, 2011) and quickly sold 25,000 copies. It won the ADISQ award that year for best classical vocal album.