Making her Pacific Opera Victoria debut in the role of Angelina (Cinderella) in Rossini's great comic opera La Cenerentola (Cinderella), mezzo soprano Julie Boulianne has already distinguished herself in the role of Angelina at Glimmerglass Opera, Aspen Opera Theater, and Florida Grand Opera.
In 2011 Julie will make her Metropolitan Opera debut, performing Diane in Gluck's Iphigénie en Tauride and Stéphano in Gounod's Roméo et Juliette, the latter conducted by Placido Domingo.
Winner of the Prix Lyrique Français, French-Canadian Julie Boulianne has been acclaimed for the agility and expressive power of her dark-hued mezzo-soprano in a wide repertoire. Possessing a voice The New York Times calls “subtle and pure,” she distinguished herself in the role of Isolier in Rossini's Le Comte Ory while still a member of the Juilliard Opera Center.
During the 2009/2010 season, Julie Boulianne made her New York City Opera debut as the wily Lazuli in Chabrier's comedic opera L'étoile, directed by Mark Lamos; performed Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro at Vancouver Opera, conducted by Jonathan Darlington; and portrayed the title role in Massenet's Cendrillon at both l'Opéra de Marseille and l'Opéra de Montréal. Her concert calendar included Ravel's Shéhérazade with Emmanuel Villaume and the Utah Symphony and Berlioz's Les Nuits d'été with l'Orchestre Symphonique du Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean.
Ms. Boulianne opened the 2008/2009 season at Aspen Opera Theater in the title role of Rossini's La Cenerentola, a role she reprised for debuts at Florida Grand Opera and Glimmerglass Opera. She sang Les Nuits d'été with Yannick Nézet-Séguin and l'Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal, debuted at Minnesota Opera as Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, the Atlanta Symphony in Messiah and Bach's Mass in B minor, and presented recitals in Iceland with Dalton Baldwin and in the New York area under the auspices of the New York Festival of Song.
Julie Bouliane has appeared frequently at Montreal Opera, Quebec Opera, and McGill Opera, in roles such as Rosina, Stéphano in Roméo et Juliette, Nicklausse in Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, both Cherubino and Barbarina in Le Nozze di Figaro, and the title roles in Hänsel und Gretel and Dido and Aeneas. She has also performed extensively in France, including Barbarina and the Second Lady in Die Zauberflöte at l'Opéra de Reims, Zerlina at l'Opéra d'Avignon, and Barbarina at l'Opéra de Tours. She made her U.S. debut in 2006 at Nashville Opera in the title role of Ravel's L'enfant et les sortilèges, and subsequently sang Isolier in Le Comte Ory and Mrs. Soames in the New York premiere of Ned Rorem's Our Town at the Juilliard Opera Center. In March 2009, Naxos Records released a recording of Shéhérazade and L'enfant et les sortilèges featuring Julie Boulianne and the Nashville Symphony.
In addition to her operatic work, Ms. Boulianne has a flourishing concert career, and is a regular guest of symphony orchestras including L'Orchestre de la Francophonie Canadienne, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, L'Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal, the Quebec Symphony Orchestra, the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, and Les Violons du Roy. She has recorded for Chaîne Culturelle de Radio-Canada, Radio France, and on the Naxos label.
A graduate of McGill University's Schulich School of Music, Julie Boulianne won the First Prize in both the Canadian Music Competition and the Joy of Singing Competition in New York. She has also been awarded the International Vocal Arts Institute's Silverman Prize, and in 2007, the Prix de la Chambre des Directeurs for Most Promising Career at the Concours International de Chant de Montréal. Her recording of Ravel's Shéhérazade and L'enfant et les sortilèges was nominated for the 2010 Grammy Award for Best Classical Album.
It's French-Canadian mezzo-soprano Boulianne who is the one to watch – Rossini's endless coloratura is a killer, yet she rips through ornamentation like a carving knife. Her voice has both sweetness and bite, with hints of darker and deeper notes to come, all boding well for meatier roles down the line.
Paula Citron,Toronto Globe and Mail, August 11, 2009
The one compelling reason to see 'La Cenerentola' … is the mezzo-soprano singing the title role. Beg, borrow or steal to get a ticket for Julie Boulianne's performance . . . She is the real deal . . . she sailed through her moments, big and small, and created a character sweet and innocent enough to justify the subtitle Rossini and his librettist, Jacopo Ferretti, appended to this very Italian version of the Cinderella story: 'Or Goodness Triumphant.' Boulianne has the presence to command the stage without histrionics, often by standing there with a gentle smile. She opens her mouth and the sound comes out unforced, yet agile enough to negotiate with ease one of the most difficult coloratura arias ever written, "Nacqui all'affano" in the final act. In interacting with the other singers, she seems a model of generous attention and consistently conjures up a feeling of reality. Only a first-year student at Julliard, the French Canadian already has sang starring roles at l'Opéra de Montréal – Rosina in Rossini's 'Il Barbiere di Siviglia' and Annio in Mozart's 'La Clemenza di Tito.' Aspen is fortunate to be hearing her at this stage of her career, much as audiences might remember fondly the likes of Renée Fleming and Susanne Mentzer when they sang here before becoming stars.
Harvey Steiman, Aspen Times, July 12, 2008
Watch Julie Boulianne as Angelina in Glimmerglass opera's 2009 summer production of Rossini's Cinderella.
Directed by Kevin Newbury. Conducted by Joseph Colaneri. Featuring Julie Boulianne, John Tessier, Edward Chama, Keith Phares, and the Glimmerglass Opera Orchestra, 2009.