Her vocal talents were revealed to the public in 2000 when she won the Queen Fabiola and Lied Prize at the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Belgium. She then began an international career that has led her to the world’s most famous stages: La Scala, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, l’Opéra National de Paris, the Champs Elysées, the Capitole de Toulouse, la Monnaie in Brussels, the Staatsoper in Berlin, Munich and Vienna, Zurich Opera, the Theater an der Wien, the Teatro Real in Madrid, the Liceu of Barcelona, the Salzburg Festival, the Glyndebourne Festival, the Chorégies d’Orange, the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto and the Montreal Opera
Her powerful voice, her superb sense of line and a faultless virtuosity as well as her sense of nuance and drama allows her to triumph in various repertories. The beginning of her career is marked by baroque music (Orphée by Gluck, Giulio Cesare, Ariodante, Orlando Furioso, Salomon, Theodora). The evolution of her voice soon allowed her to take on the French repertoire of the XIXth century (Les Troyens, Pelléas et Mélisande, Samson et Dalila, Carmen), Rossini (Guillaume Tell, Tancredi, L’Italiana in Algeri) and also Verdi (Mrs. Quickly in Falstaff, Azucena in Il Trovatore, Ulrica of Un Ballo in Maschera)
Alongside her stage career, Marie-Nicole Lemieux is invited to sing the great symphonic repertoire with prestigious orchestras (New York Philarmonic, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio-France and Orchestre National de France, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse, Orchestre de l’Accademia Santa Cecilia, Los Angeles Philharmonic, London Philharmonia, St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Smphonique de Montréal, les Violons du Roy, Orchestre Métropolitain), and under the direction of renown conductors such as: Myung-Whun Chung, Charles Dutoit, Ivan Fischer, Mikko Franck, Daniele Gatti, Bernard Haitink, Paavo Järvi, Bernard Labadie, Louis Langrée, Kurt Masur, Kent Nagano, John Nelson, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Gianandrea Noseda, Antonio Pappano, Michel Plasson, Michael Schonwandt, Pinchas Steinberg, Pinchas Zukerman.
She is acclaimed as a peerless recital artist with an exceptional vocal palette having a special talent for French and Russian songs, as well as German lieder.
Her discography is rich and varied. In addition to her Vivaldi recordings for Naïve (Orlando Furioso– disc rewarded with a Victoire de la Musique in January 2005- Griselda, la Fida Ninfa, the Stabat mater, and the Nisi dominus), Marie-Nicole Lemieux has recorded as a soloist Les Nuits d’Eté by Berlioz, Wagner’s Wesendoncklieder, Mahler’s Rückertlieder, L’Heure Exquise (French melodies with Daniel Blumenthal), a Lied by Schumann, Ne me refuse pas: with l’Orchestre National de France (which won her the international prize at the Academy Charles Cros and was acclaimed by international critics), Opera Arias (Gluck, Mozart, Haydn with Violons du Roy), Streams of Pleasure (Haendel in duet with Karina Gauvin) and Chansons perpétuelles (piano recital with Roger Vignoles). She has started a collaboration with Warner Classics, with a program dedicated to Rossini, she has also recorded Les Troyens (Cassandre).
Lately, she could notably be heard in Falstaff (Mrs. Quickly) in London, Vienna, Paris, Milan, Montreal, Toronto and at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, Il Trittico (Zia Principessa and Zita) at the Theater an der Wien, L’Italiana in Algeri (Isabella), Tancredi and Carmen at the Théâtre des Champs, Madama Butterfly (Suzuki) in Barcelona, Amsterdam’s, the Chorégies d’Orange and at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Il Trovatore (Azucena) with Placido Domingo and Anna Netrebko in Salzbourg, with Roberto Alagna at the Chorégies d’Orange and at the Teatro Real in Madrid, Un Ballo in maschera (Ulrica) at La Monnaie in Brussels, Wiesbaden and Zürich, Enescu’s Œdipe at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Les Troyens (Cassandre) conducted by John Nelson, Samson et Dalila (Dalila) at the Montreal Opera and in concert version at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Jephtha (Storgè) by Handel at the Paris National Opera staged by Claus Guth, Pelléas et Mélisande for her debut at the Metropolitan Opera.
In concert, she sang Verdi’s Requiem (Vienna’s Musikverein, Royal Festival Hall of London, Tonhalle in Zurich, Montreal Maison symphonique and Paris’ Philharmonie), Chausson’s Poème de l’Amour de la Mer at the Paris’ Philharmonie, on tour with Santa Cecilia and in Cleveland under the direction of Antonio Pappano, Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio-France and with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Matthäus-Passion with Les Violons du Roy and with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, the Wesendonck Lieder, the Rückert Lieder and Das Lied von Erde with the Orchestre Symphonique de Québec, Les Nuits d’été with the Orchestre Métropolitain conducted by Yannick Nézet-Seguin in Montreal and then on tour across Europe (Dortmund, Rotterdam, Hamburg and Paris), Edgar’s Sea Pictures with the Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine under the baton of Paul Daniel, Ravel’s Shéhérazade with the Orchestre de Paris, Les Nuits d’été with the Orchestre national de France, Elgar’s Sea Pictures with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo.
Some of her future projects include Juditha triomphans in Lyon and at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées with the Ensemble Mattheus, Falstaff and L’Italiana in Algeri at the Wiener Staatsoper, L’Incoronazione di Poppea at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Madama Butterfly and The Snow Maiden at the Paris National Opera, Carmen (title role) in Toulouse, La Belle Hélène at the Opéra Comique in Paris, Madama Butterfly at Covent Garden. In concert, she will sing La Mort de Cléopâtre with the Orchestre National de France, Berlioz Roméo et Juliette with the Orchestre de Paris, Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo, Beethoven Missa Solemnis, Oedipus Rex with the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal. She will also sing recitals in Brussels, Monte Carlo and Paris.
Marie-Nicole Lemieux is a Knight of the National Order of Quebec, Compagne des Arts et des Lettres du Québec, member of the Order of Canada and of the Order of the Pleiades. She also has a Doctor Honoris Causa delivered by the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi.