Marie-Nicole Lemieux (born June 26, 1975) is a Canadian coloratura contralto. She first came to the world's attention in 2000 when she became the first Canadian to win first prize at the Queen Elisabeth International Music Competition in Belgium. Since then Lemieux has established herself as one of the finest contraltos currently singing on the classical music stage, appearing with some of the world's best orchestras and singing with many great opera companies. Lemieux is admired for possessing an unusually flexible and beautiful contralto voice that does not have the heaviness that is often associated with her particular voice type. For this reason, Lemieux has become a favorite among lovers of Baroque opera and she is noted for her portrayal of characters in the operas of Handel and Vivaldi in particular. Her voice is admired for its richness, warmth and resonance and for its expressiveness and use of many different tone colours. Lemieux is also praised by critics for the great personality she exudes on stage and for her exceptional communicative power.
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