Joelle Lamarre

Actor / Performer / Entrepreneur 

Soprano AGMA, AEA

Biography

The American Soprano, Joelle Lamarre is highlighting her 2022 season by continuing to be an artist in demand performing new works by today’s composers.

 

She starts her 2022  season  by making her debut this March in the “Night of Song” concert with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s internationally recognized and critically acclaimed new-music series, MusicNOW. Curated by CSO’s Composer-in-Residence Jessie Montgomery, this series will be featuring World Premiere arrangements from composers; Ayanna Woods, Dale Trumbore, Shawn Okpebholo and Damien Geter.

 

We then follow Joelle into Spring 2022, where she will be creating the role, Elizabeth Alumond in the World Premiere, production of "Quamino’s Map" with Chicago Opera Theater; music by Errollyn Wallen Libretto by Deborah Brevoort.

 

Excited to be returning to Long Beach Opera this summer where Joelle is recasted in the remounted production of Anthony Davis Pulitzer Prize winning opera, "Central Park Five."

 

Inspite of this world-wide pandemic we all have been experiencing, Joelle started her 2021 season in the summer with “Cartography of Peace" with the South Chicago Dance Theater.  This collaboration was, “inspiration from the art of surrealist assemblage and employs contemporary dance and opera to explore the ethos of peace.”  That same month she performed with Fulcrum Point New Music Project in New Music Chicago third-annual  “Impromptu Fest June 2021 Concert, where Joelle performed "Moments in Sonder" by B.E. Boykin/Maya Angelou and the aria "Goddess of the Water" by  Anthony Davis/Thulani Davis.

During the fall of 2021, Joelle was seen during Baltimore Lieder Weekend where she presented two performances of “A Kaleidoscope of Black American Songs and Arias.”  The program featured works from composers such as B.E. Boykin, Anthony Davis, Adolphus Hailstork, Richard Thompson, Florence Price, Nkeiru Okoye, and more.  

 

She ended 2021 holiday season appearing again Fulcrum Point New Music Project 23rd Annual Concert for Peace: Out of the Ashes. She performed Daniel Bernard Roumain’s, "They Still Want to Kill Us" and made a Midwest Premiere of "Tulsa 1921: Pity These Ashes. Pity This Dust" by Adolphus Hailstork, text by Dr. Herbert Martin. She closed out the holiday singing  Handel’s Messiah with the Elmhurst Choral Union.

 

Joelle Lamarre, a 3Arts “Make A Wave” Awardee, has been described as a performer of “astounding vocal power” with a range that almost “defies classification and exhibits true spinto quality.”  

 

Joelle appeared in Chicago Opera Theater’s “emotionally riveting” world premiere production of Dan Shore’s Freedom Ride, directed by Tazewell Thompson.  Summer 2019, she made her Long Beach Opera debut in the world premiere of the Anthony Davis Pulitzer Prize opera Central Park Five, eliciting praise from Singerpreneur for her “exquisite soprano” as the mother of two of the falsely accused boys.  Joelle received critical acclaim as Sister Rose in the Chicago premieres of Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, first in DePaul University’s concert presentation of the opera and then as an alumna special guest artist in Northwestern University’s Chicago premiere production. 

 

Beyond traditional opera, Joelle collaborates in more experimental forms with renowned composers including George Lewis, a Guggenheim Fellow, in his new opera Afterword: The AACM once before, an opera developed with Sean Griffin and Catherine Sullivan, constitutes an aesthetic extension of George E. Lewis’s 2008 book, A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music. Performance took place at Chicago's Museum of Contemporary of Arts. Joelle was thrilled to join and remount Afterword with George Lewis and Sean Griffin  at the New York Roulette,  Berkley, Ostrava, Huddersfield and the Ojai 2017 Summer Festival. 

 

Joelle continued collaborating at the Redcat Theater, with multi-disciplinary artist Sean Griffin in Charles Gaines’ Manifestos 2, a score is based on: Malcolm X’s last public speech made in 1965 in Detroit’s Ford Auditorium; Peace, Power, Righteousness: An Indigenous Manifesto (1999) by Canadian Mohawk scholar and activist Taiaiake Alfred; Raúl Alcaraz and Daniel Carrillo’s Indocumentalismo Manifesto, an Emerging Socio-Political Ideological Identity (2010); and Olympe DeGouges’s 1791 Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen. 

 

Opera News reviewed, "Joelle Lamarre's soprano has a glorious lyrical bloom that allows her to explore realms of the imagination that lie beyond the everyday."

 

In addition to performing across genres in theatre and opera, Joelle is a multi-faceted artist who pushes boundaries as a writer, music director and artistic advisor.  Joelle joined American Repertory Theater in Boston as Associate Music Director for The Black Clown, a world premiere musical adaptation of the Langston Hughes poem by Davóne Tines & Michael Schachter with arrangements by Jaret Landon. The Black Clown floored audiences and critics alike at Lincoln Center's Mozart Festival, where it was hailed as “a remarkable new music-theater work of significance and disturbing beauty… illuminat[ing] 300 years of the black experience within white America in a mere 70 minutes.”  

 

Joelle’s “must-see” performance of the powerful aria “I am Moses” from Nkeiru Okoye’s Harriet Tubman: When I Crossed That Line to Freedom, was a standout highlight of South Shore Opera Company of Chicago's 10th Anniversary Concert, recreating the role of Harriet Tubman, which she performed in the company’s 2016 production, directed by the legendary Chuck Smith.  Joelle is a favorite South Shore Opera Company artist since its inception, and she served as Artistic Advisor for the company during their 2019 season.  

 

In February 2017, South Shore Opera Company of Chicago invited Joelle to present a work of her own, The Violet Hour, which explores the career of acclaimed soprano Leontyne Price’s rise to prominence during the 1950’s and 60’s, despite the segregation and discrimination prevalent in America.  In addition to writing the play, Joelle portrayed Miss Price in scenes from her youth in Mississippi through her final performance at the Metropolitan Opera, singing Price’s signature repertoire from gospel to Gershwin, Verdi and Samuel Barber.  Joelle also portrayed Price’s mother, aunt and Juilliard voice teacher in Amy Hutchison’s multimedia production, which also featured Robert Sims and Matthew Holzfeind, with pianist Saori Chiba as music director.  The script is currently in development and being reimagined as a 3Arts Artist project. 

 

Her awards include the 3Arts Make a Wave grant, BRAVO award from Bel Canto Foundation, the ANNAMARIE GERTS AWARD from the Musicians Club of Women and several vocal scholarships for VoicExperience. She received her M.M. in vocal performance from Northwestern University, where she created the role of Flora in T. J. Anderson’s Slipknot.  

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Opera News reviewed, "Joelle Lamarre's soprano has a glorious lyrical bloom that allows her to explore realms of the imagination that lie beyond the everyday."

Financial Times reviewed, “Lamarre impressively balancing urgency against tonal clarity.” 

LA Times listing Joelle Lamarre as a, “compelling singer.”

NY Times Review

“…impressive vocal soloist(s).”

Chicago Tribune Review

“Joelle Lamarre excelled as Sister Rose, Helen's close friend and co-worker,”

Chicago Classical Review

“Joelle Lamarre offered a powerful soprano as Helen’s friend and colleague, Sister Rose.”

Chicago Theater Beat Review 

Joelle Lamarre gives a feisty wardrobe an operatic charm.” Beauty and the Beast

Daily Herald Review

“That sumptuous song, which finds strawberry seller LaMarre offering fruit to audience members, …”

“…kudos to … Joelle LaMarre, whose gorgeous voice gets an all-too-brief showcase during the exquisite street vendors' serenade.”

Splash Magazine Review

“When Joelle Lamarre (Lily) peddles her wares as the strawberry woman, she bestows samples of the sparkling berries to a couple of audience members as she sings her luscious lullaby, literally touching an audience that is already deeply engaged.”

Chicago Magazine Review

“The year-old company provides a stage for local African American talent, such as the Northwestern graduate Joelle Lamarre, whose voice Lynn describes as a “young Leontyne Price.”

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