B i o g r a p h y
Irina is a young mezzo soprano known for her rich and textured voice evident throughout her large range, repertoire, and style, as well as for her incredible stage presence and theatricality. At the age of six Irina was already starring in musical comedies in North America. She later discovered a passion for Jazz that she developed through her studies with greats like Sheila Jordan and Jay Clayton. It was only during her undergraduate diploma at Bishop’s University, that she discovered a real passion for classical music and the world of Opera. Throughout her studies she was awarded with great prizes notably; The Friends of Music Award, The Howard Brown Prize in Music, as well as the University prize of Top Graduating Student.
Following her studies in Canada, Irina moved to Europe where she gained several diplomas in music notably from the National Music Conservatory in Paris, France (Diplôme de Formation Superieur), the Sorbonne University (DESS L’art du Récital), the Ecole Normale de Musique (Diplôme de Concertiste) and the Scuola Cantorum (Diplôme supérieur and Diplôme de Concertiste). She also studied under and collaborated with several highly respected teachers, including Jennifer Larmore, Theresa Berganza, Peggy Bouveret, Rachel Yakar, François le Roux, Natalie Stutzman, Jacqueline Bonnardot, René Jacobs, Jeff Cohen and Anne Le Bozec.
Irina’s operatic roles range from Mozart to Wagner. Recently, she played the role of Ragonde in Rossini’s Le Comte Ory at the Malmö Opera in Sweden, as well as the role of Arsace in Rossini’s opera Semiramide at the Royal Danish Opera in Copenhagen. In France, she played the role of Rita in both Thomas Breton’s Zarzuela La Verbena de la Paloma and the world premiere of Thierry Pécou’s Rêve de Carnaval at the Opera de Reims. She also played to high acclaim the titular role in the “Figaro Si!, Figaro La!” company’s production of Carmen and the role of Suzuki in Puccini’s Madame Butterfly in Fribourg Opera in Switzerland and the Saint Céré summer festival in France. She also played several roles in Janacek’s Cunning Little Vixen at the Reims and Liege opera, as well as Clarina in Rossini’s Il cambiale di matrimonio at the National Theatre in Bastia.
Passionate about art song and recital work, Irina won the first vocal prize given by the ADAMI at the International Nadia and Lili Boulanger Piano-Voice Competition for chamber music, which has since led to continued appearances in major recital halls throughout Europe, the United States and Canada. Of late she performed the Wesendonck Lieder with the Orchestre Secession conducted by Clément Mao-Takacs, and the Chanson Perpetuelle with the Quatuor Girard at the Festival de Paques de Deauville, France. With the Ensemble de Basse Normandie she recently returned to her musical theater roots for a program of Broadway numbers and, in another programme with the same orchestra, she performed the Old American Songs by Copland, both programmes conducted by Jean Deroyer. Prior to this, she sang the Rückert Lieder and Das Lied von der erde with the Orchestre de Dijon-Bourgongne, directed by David Walter. Very active in France, Irina has sung with many of the major ensembles as well as the Maitrise de Radio France where she sang the Bach’s Psaume 51 Tilge, Höchster, Meine Sünden BWV 1083 conducted by Sofi Jeannin as well as the BWV 4 Cantata Christ lag in Todesbanden with the Orchestre d’Auvergne conducted by Jurjen Hempel.
Above and beyond her opera and recital work, Irina continues to support and highlight works by her contemporary colleagues. She created and starred in the role of Marilyn in Ming Jung Woo’s opera Shanti-Intra directed by Dominique My. She also performed Thierry Pécou’s Voix Marines with the Orchestre National de Lorraine under the direction of Yannis Pouspourikas and recorded Pecou’s La Symphonie du Jaguar with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France directed by François-Xavier Roth, a CD that was awarded the “diapason d’or 2010” prize.