Elisabeth St-Gelais, Tchaikovsky & Dvořàk

Elisabeth St-Gelais—winner of the 2023 Prix d’Europe, First Prize and Audience Choice Award winner at the Canadian Opera Company’s 2023 Centre Stage Competition, and a Radio-Canada Classique Revelation for 2023-2024—is now the artist-in-residence for our Happy Hour Concerts series. This is an occasion for her to introduce us to artists she enjoys working with and to explore a repertoire she generally has less of an opportunity to perform. She is presenting three new concerts that will give you a chance to meet this young Innu soprano from the community of Pessamit whose round, clear tone and stage presence will surely grab your attention! She promises to deliver an inspiring autumn season!



Elisabeth St-Gelais, soprano
Elizabeth Polese, soprano 
Louise Pelletier, piano


Sopranos Elisabeth St-Gelais and Elizabeth Polese, accompanied by pianist Louise Pelletier, join forces for a concert of Russian and Czech music.



P.TCHAÏKOVSKI (1840-1893)
6 Duets, Opus 46 for voice and piano

A.DVOŘÁK (1841-1904)
Lieblicher Mond (Song to the Moon), excerpt from Rusalka

A.DVOŘÁK (1841-1904)
Zigeunermelodien, opus 55, B. 104


Artist-in-residence presented by: 

Elisabeth St-Gelais, artiste en résidence






Elisabeth St-Gelais, soprano
Named Radio-Canada’s 2023- 2024 classical breakout artist, in April 2023 Elisabeth St-Gelais completed a master’s degree in the Opera and Voice program at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University. A member of the Innu nation, from the community of Pessamit, she accords immense importance to sharing her culture through her mission as an artist. She made her European debut in the summer of 2022 at the Berlin Opera Academy, in the role of Rosalinde in the operetta Die Fledermaus. Ms. St-Gelais has performed throughout Canada, notably with the Orchestre symphonique du Saguenay- Lac-Saint-Jean, Orchestre symphonique de la Côte-Nord, I Musici de Montréal, Orchestre de l’Agora, Orchestre symphonique de Québec and Orchestre des Jeunes de Montréal. In 2022, she won McGill University’s prestigious Wirth Vocal Prize, and the Grand Prize in the 19-30 age category at the Canimex Canadian Music Competition. That same year, she was featured in CBC’s prestigious “30 Hot Classical Musicians under 30” list, and in 2023, she was awarded the Prix d’Europe in Montreal and the First prize and Audience Choice at the Center Stage 2023 competition of the Canadian Opera Company. In november 2023, she is the western canada district winner for the MET OPERA LAFFONT COMPETITION. Deeply engaged with the montreal’ musical community, she is since April 2023 part of the boards of directors of the Conseil de la Musique du Québec.

Elisabeth St-Gelais, Tchaikovsky & Dvořàk    Elisabeth St-Gelais, Tchaikovsky & Dvořàk   Site web

Elizabeth Polese, soprano

The 2023/24 season sees Canadian soprano Elizabeth Polese in concert with The Happenstancers chamber collective in Toronto, as Norina in Don Pasquale with Vancouver Opera (role and house debut), as the Soprano I soloist in Mozart’s Mass in C Minor with Choral Connection, as the Governess in The Turn of the Screw with Opera5 in Toronto (role debut), and appears in a recital with cellist Beth Silver and pianist Jenna Richards for Ottawa ChamberFest. Recently, she has been a young artist at Detroit Opera, l’Atelier Lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal, and Tanglewood Music Center, and is the winner of the prestigious Sullivan Foundation Award and Hnatyshyn Foundation Developing Artist Award for Classical Voice.

During the 2022/23 season, Elizabeth was a young artist at Detroit Opera, where she sang the role of Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte with Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, and covered the roles of Marguerite in Faust and Margarita and Nuria in Ainadamar. She also returned to Opéra de Montréal in the role of Nuria in Ainadamar, and in concert with Orchestre Classique de Montréal, Domaine Forget (Charlevoix), and Gewandhaus Orchester (Leipzig). Notably, she appeared as Isabel in George Benjamin’s Lessons in Love and Violence with Tanglewood Music Center with the composer at the podium, to critical acclaim by the New York Times and Boston Globe.

Highlights of Elizabeth’s young artist residency at l’Atelier lyirque de l’Opéra de Montréal include Alice B. Toklas in the Canadian premiere of Twenty-Seven, Miss Jessel in The Turn of the Screw (l’Orchestre de l’Agora) Contessa di Ceprano in Rigoletto, and covers of Marzelline in Fidelio (Orchestre Métropolitain), and Agnès in Written on Skin. In 2019, Elizabeth was the winner of the Sullivan Foundation Gail Robinson Award for Soprano, the Hnatyshyn Foundation Award for Classical Voice in 2021, and has won several competitions for her rendition of Mozart’s Exsultate, Jubilate (University of Toronto Concerto Competition, Toronto Mozart Competition, Ottawa Symphony Orchestra Mozart-Sénécal Prize). A proponent of new music as well, Elizabeth regularly performs works by Golijov, Messiaen, Knussen, Foss, Gordon, Freedman, Cage, Crumb, Benjamin, and Stravinsky, among others.

Ms. Polese is an alumna of many esteemed training institutions internationally, including the Rebanks Family Fellowship of the Royal Conservatory of Music, Highlands Opera Studio, the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, the Universität der Künste Berlin, Domaine Forget, Toronto Summer Music Festival, Brott Opera, Opera NUOVA, Centre for Opera Studies in Italy, Victoria Conservatory of Music, and Centre d’Arts Orford. Ms Polese holds Bachelors and Masters degrees from the University of Toronto, where she studied under the tutelage of celebrated Canadian soprano, Mary Morrison (OC).

Elisabeth St-Gelais, Tchaikovsky & Dvořàk   Elisabeth St-Gelais, Tchaikovsky & Dvořàk    Elisabeth St-Gelais, Tchaikovsky & Dvořàk  Site web

Louise Pelletier, piano

Known for her sensitivity and enthusiasm, Louise Pelletier has led a dynamic and remarkable career as a pianist, accompanist and vocal coach. For over 20 years, Mrs. Pelletier has held the position of accompanist/vocal coach at McGill University’s Schulich School of Music and has often served as a rehearsal pianist for Opera McGill. A faithful and devoted accompanist, she has worked in the voice studios of Bill Neill, Thérèse Savadjian, Winston Purdy, Joanne Kolomyjec, Lucille Evans, Michael Meraw, Yolande Parent, Catherine Sévigny, Marie Daveluy, Sanford Sylvan, Stefano Algieri and Dominique Labelle.

Having a vast knowledge of both recital and operatic repertoire, Louise is often called upon as an official pianist for competitions, auditions for Young Artist programs and various summer training programs. She is an official pianist for the Canadian Music Competition as well as the International Stepping Stone Competition and serves as an official pianist for the Canadian Opera Company auditions in Montreal. She is also regularly hired by the Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques to play auditions and gala concerts. She has served as accompanist at the American Institute for Musical Studies (AIMS) in Graz, Austria and for several years been an important part of the Canadian Vocal Arts Institute (CVAI) in Montreal, serving as coach and accompanist, alongside Joan Dornemann and many notable teachers from New York’s Metropolitan Opera. While still being an active member of the CVAI faculty, for the past two years, Louise has also been the vocal coach and in charge of the scenes program at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music’s Summer Opera Studio. As a member of the faculty of CCM’s Summer Opera Studio, she has played for the voice classes of William McGraw and Joyce Miller, as well as staging rehearsals for directors Vernon Hartman and Vince Degeorge. Other stage directors she has worked closely with include Renaud Doucet, Patrick Hansen and François Racine.

She collaborates with many of the major orchestras across Quebec, such as l’Orchestre Symphonique de Laval, l’Orchestre Symphonique de Longueuil, the McGill Chamber Orchestra, the Festival de Lanaudière and the Orchestre Métropolitain, and has occupied the positions of répétiteur, pianist, and harpsichordist for choral works, symphonic works and operatic works. A versatile and highly sought-after colleague, she has worked with many leading conductors, including Jean-Philippe Tremblay, Jean-Marie Zeitouni, Véronique Lacroix, Julian Wachner, Jean-Francois Rivest, Agnès Grossman, Marc David, Boris Brott, Miklos Takacs and most notably, Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Her close relationship with Maestro Nézet-Séguin was one that first developed over a period of 6 years at the Choeur de Laval, and they then went on together to the Orchestre Métropolitain, where Louise continues to serve as the pianist for the choir. Other musical projects with Yannick Nézet-Séguin include Hänsel and Gretel in a collaboration between Théâtre sans fil and the Orchestre Métropolitain, as well as Pélléas et Mélisande at the Opéra de Montréal.


*JM Canada reserves the right to modify the repertoire without prior notice.


Concert dates

September 12, 2024 at 07:00PM
Salle Joseph-Rouleau Montréal (QC)

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