Detailed Biography - Helene
Hélène ENGEL is an opera singer, musicologist, composer, lyricist and arranger. Specialist in Jewish folklore she was proclaimed Best Jewish Singer of France in 1984. Hélène Engel sings in Yiddish, Hebrew, and Judeo-Spanish, as well as in English and French… and other languages! She has produced five recordings, and the most recent, "Voyage," was released in Montreal in October 2007. Hélène's tours have taken her throughout France and to major folklore festivals in Europe and Northern America. Now based in Montreal, she sings occasionally as cantorial soloist at Temple Emmanuel- Beth Shalom and is a regular member of the Shaare Zion choir.
She also opened towards a new dimension since she graduated in Music Therapy at UQAM in April 2000.
Pure and crystal-clear, warm and playful, a wild emotional range, full of passion for life and love
The harmony resonating from musical traditions past and distant. Memories of a world whose echoes vibrate in unison.
A search to discover a repertoire of Jewish folklore, enriched by the tones and hues of all the cultures among which it flourished. These treasures accompany Hélène Engel in her wanderings along the roads of France , Europe and finally to North America .
Through the Lyric Arts, Hélène Engel discovers her voice. Her talent is confirmed by a Masters Degree in Musicology from the University of Strasbourg and a diploma from the Conservatory of Cergy-Pontoise. While pursuing her studies, she makes her professional debut singing supporting roles and choir parts in many operas : The marriage of Figaro, Carmen, The Magic Flute, Traviata...
Through her research, she discovers her path. No slave of tradition, Hélène Engel rejects classical elitism, allows no barriers or boundaries to stand in her way. A citizen of the World, she designs her own itinerary along the signposts of international folklore. She first discovers that of her own country: the traditions of Alsace, Berry, Brittany... Then comes an exploration of the folklore of Russia, America, Spain, England ... the sounds of Persian and Swahili become familiar friends! Finally she finds her way through Jewish folklore, in which Judeo-Spanish, Yiddish, Hebrew and all the other languages of exile are mingled. She visited the libraries of many countries to collect new songs and their specific history. These multiple voices and melodies convey the joie de vivre , the humor, the playfulness, the sensitivity and the warmth that distinguish Hélène Engel.
Hélène Engel invites you on a journey...
To other times and other lands... She lifts her audiences no matter how varied, and carries
them along to discover new styles and rhythms, from classical melodies to traditional
songs, from chanson réaliste to children's tunes, from ballad to tango, and from Klezmer
music to oriental chant.