Hélène Engel

(born in France, resident in Montréal), opera singer, musicologist, composer, lyricist and arranger. Specialist in Jewish folklore she sings in Yiddish, Hebrew, and Judeo-Spanish, as well as in English and French and other languages, she has produced five recordings.  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 Emanu-El-Beth Shalom and is a regular member of the Shaare Zion choir. She has also opened towards a new dimension since she graduated in Music Therapy at UQAM in April 2000. 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. 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. From the traditions of Alsace, Berry, Brittany. She went to the folklore of Russia, America, Spain, England and then, the sounds of Persian and Swahili become familiar friends. She finds her way through Jewish folklore, in which Judeo-Spanish, Yiddish, Hebrew and all the other languages of exile are mingled. These multiple voices and melodies convey the joie de vivre, the humor, the playfulness, the sensitivity and the warmth that distinguish Hélène Engel.
Selected works / Recordings : "Voyage" performed since 2007 in various  groups, with different musical selections ; Voyage, CD recorded in 2007 ; Ay lu lu, CD recorded in 1995 ; Errances : From Toledo to Brooklyn, recorded in 1992 ; La Serena , recorded in 1988 ; Chansons traditionnelles juives, recorded in 1985 ; Magen Ossim, music on a Judeo-Provençal text from the 17th Century,  2006 ; Lyrics and Music of some songs such as Helene's nigun, Stanislas, Je t'aime à Montréal, between 2000 and 2006 ; A show with Jewish songs in French to which several names have been given : Chanter Juif en Français, Grenouillages, Chansons juives au féminin pluriel, 2009.


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