With a career that includes numerous appearances on stages in Europe, Asia and North America, Dominique Labelle’s return to Québec as voice professor at Schulich is both a joyous homecoming and marks the turn of a page. Ms. Labelle has consistently received great acclaim for her performances and has made numerous recordings of opera and concert repertoire. She can be heard on record labels including Virgin Veritas, Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, Denon, New World, RCA Victor Red Seal and more.
Here, in her own words, Ms. Labelle insightfully discusses her role as a teacher and colleague as she prepares to return to her the school she attended and the province she loves so much. Welcome home, Ms. Labelle.
On joining the Schulich School of Music:
“It truly humbles me to know that I have been asked to come back as a guide this time, and I understand the very important and delicate responsibility of being one. I want to be helpful, and I want to inspire my students, and share with them the fire that has been feeding me through my singing career. I look forward to working with my colleagues, learning from them, sharing ideas, to fun projects and exchanges that will benefit of our students.”
On evolving as a voice teacher:
“My life has been letting me know for a while that it wanted a new chapter. I sensed that my singing colleagues had begun to look at me differently: not only as an artist, but also as someone who could personally guide them in their journey to find their voice. Everywhere I went to sing, I was also asked to give lessons and coachings. I listened, and started imagining myself wearing a different outfit, but serving the same master, Music.”
On mentoring singers:
“My responsibility as a teacher is to help communicate to students how to produce the best resonance but do this with words and images he or she can understand. I love to work with images. I talk about turkeys with over- cooked legs to explain about the breath, sheep jumping fences to help with consonants, cathedrals with high ceilings for the beauty of sound.”
On returning to Quebec:
“When I left Quebec, I had nothing. I was young, and I left with very little save my hopes. This time, coming back, I bring with me my family, a wonderful husband, two beautiful children, and a little dog. I come back to my hometown but not into its past. I am coming into the future, and I am bringing back many, many, many gifts. It is quite surreal to go through such an extraordinary moment for me and for my whole family,and I look forward to being near my extended family again. I am truly grateful for this amazing chance to be with them once again.”