Canadian conductor Vanessa Chartrand-Rodrigue graduated with honours from McGill University in voice. Thereafter, she attended a Master’s degree in viola da Gamba at the Université de Montréal before moving to Germany to pursue her operatic studies with Ks. Jeanne Piland. Vanessa is a 2020 Opera Awards Foundation bursary recipient and was earlier awarded a scholarship from the Royal Philharmonic Society of London for their contemporary music conducting masterclass with Jessica Cottis, who she counts among her mentors, along with Vladimir Jurowski, with whom she has worked on repertoire with the Berlin Rundfunk Symphony Orchestra.
Vanessa has collaborated as a conductor and singer with renowned ensembles including Ensemble UnitedBerlin, Zafrann Ensemble, Mosaik Ensemble, Chroma Ensemble, Michaelis Consort, and performed at major contemporary music festivals such as MärzMusik, MIKROMUSIK Festival for Experimental music and sound art, ULTRASCHALL Festival, Documenta 14 and Duisburger Akzente. She has worked as musical director and performer with the theatre ensemble kainkollektiv (winner of the Georg Tabori development prize in 2015), Beggar’s Opera Berlin and baroque ensemble The Dansant, which she directs from the viola da gamba. She was assistant conductor for Don Giovanni (Alltagsoper Berlin), Les Contes d’Hoffmann (Opera On Tap Berlin), assistant to Peter Leonard in the Berlin Opera Academy’s production of Carmen, and second principal conductor with Lyric Opera Berlin’s L’elisir d’amore. She recently conducted the world premiere of New York composer Lisa Bielawa’s Mauer Broadcast for double choruses, ensemble and soloist for the Berlin wall celebration.
As a singer, Vanessa counts among her operatic roles Dorabella, Hänsel, Medoro, Niklaus, Ciesca, Carmen, Lucienne and Hermia. She has performed Cherubino (Barcelona Opera Studio) and the title role of Handel’s Giulio Cesare at the Zezere Arts Festival (Portugal). As a concert soloist she has sung Mendelssohn’s Sommernachtstraum (Deutsche Oper am Rhein), Handel’s Messiah, Monteverdi’s Beatus Vir, Mahler’s Das Himmlische Leben (Tonhalle Düsseldorf), Saint-Saens’ Christmas Oratorio, and Mozart’s Requiem.