Soprano Sharon Azrieli is devoting much of 2016/17 recording an album of French Arias at Avatar Studios in New York City, under the baton of Steven Mercurio. The recording will be released sometime in 2017 and will feature both popular and rare opera arias, including Rossini’s William Tell, Halevy’s La Juive, Berlioz’ La Damnation de Faust, Gounod’s Sappho and La Reine de Saba, Offenbach’s La Belle Helene, Massenet’s Le Cid, Herodiade, and Cleopatra, and Debussy’s L’Enfant Prodigue.
During the same period, the soprano is also recording an album of Broadway Songs in Montreal with arranger Marvin Laird and producer Robert Sher, which is expected to be released on the Angel label.
In April 2016, Sharon Azrieli made her debut in the title role of La Gioconda with the New Jersey Verismo Opera, proving herself to be an exciting singing actress, causing John Yohalem of Parterre Box to bring attention to her ‘intense’ performance!
Sharon Azrieli’s rich spinto soprano has been heard to great acclaim across the globe, from New York to Tokyo, and from Tel Aviv to her native Montreal. From her debut as Juliette in Roméo et Juliette to recent portrayals of Verdi heroines Aida and Leonora, Il Trovatore Azrieli has been deemed “utterly charming” (Sarasota Herald Tribune) and praised for her “exceedingly beautiful voice, full of feeling” – Ha’aretz.
Leading operatic roles have included Juliette in Roméo et Juliette and Mimi in La Bohème for the Canadian Opera Company; Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro with Sarasota Opera; Nedda in I Pagliacci with the New York Opera Festival; Elvira in Don Giovanni with Vermont Opera Festival; and Liu in Turandot with the New Israel Opera. Of her Laurette in Le Docteur Miracle with L’Opéra Français de New York, Andrew Porter of The New Yorker hailed her as a “mistress of merry inflections, piquant phrasing and pointed words.” In 1994, she had the great honour of covering Mirella Freni as Adrienne Lecouvreur with L’Opéra Bastille in Paris.
The recipient of numerous awards including the Metropolitan Opera Competition District Winner and Study Grant, the Pavarotti Competition and the Jarmilla Novotna Competition, Sharon was honoured by the Apollo Agency in Montreal in 2012 for her contribution to the Canadian cultural and artistic world. Sharon is a graduate of Vassar College, Parsons School of Design, the Juilliard School, and l’Université de Montréal. She speaks fluent French, Italian, Hebrew and Spanish.
Her philanthropic work is varied. She has spent the past 4 years restoring a 1-star historic mansion in Westmount Quebec that was in a deplorable condition. She is the President of the McGill Chamber orchestra and in charge of its fund raising and leadership. She created the Azrieli Music Prize within the Azrieli Foundation for the composition of new Jewish symphonic works. She is on the charitable organizations promoting arts, music and education for children.