Soprano Melanie Saucier wins NB provincial competition...again

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14 June 2011

FORT KENT - Melanie Saucier of Fort Kent won the top honor in the junior voice competition at the New Brunswick Federation of Music Festivals 40th Provincial Finals on June 3.

NB Festival

MELANIE SAUCIER - The local soprano won the provincial competition in New Brunswick in early June. - Contributed image

Saucier had a whirlwind weekend trying to accomplish many tasks related to her singing.  On Thursday she was singing in Grease, a musical the high school was producing.  She knew she had the provincial contest on Friday.  She said, "If it killed me, I was going to do both."

After the opening night of the play, Melanie and her parents climbed into their car and drove all night to arrive at Saint Jean, NB at 2:30 a.m.  She sang her songs and the family once again piled into the car and traveled straight back to Fort Kent so she could play the role of Marty in the play on Friday night.  Saturday morning she was up again to sing at a funeral in Edmondston.

Melanie takes the effort in stride, as do her parents.

Many folks in the SAD 27 school district have heard 16-year old Melanie belting out the Star Spangled Banner at sporting events, but others may be surprised to learn that Saucier is carving out a name for herself in the world of opera.

After several years of singing popular tunes, many of them from Disney cartoons, Melanie recalled in a recent interview that she was quite young when she made the decision to change directions.  She said, "I was eleven when I walked up to my mother doing the dishes and said wanted to do opera."

Along with singing national anthems, Saucier has given voice at the state capitol, countless church events, and many contests.  In fact, this is the second time she has won the provincial title.

Years ago, people were fascinated that such a young child could sing so beautifully with such a big voice.

Times have changed.

At sixteen, Melanie said there are other singers with strong voices.  She said, "The adjectives [that the reporters] use have changed.  The cute phase has officially passed."

Now she relies on her talent and a fierce regimen of practice and training.

At the provincial contest, Saucier sang O Divine Redeemer by Charles Gounod and Maman dites-moi by J.B. Weckerlin.  Saucier said she prefers the Gounod piece because it is more difficult and she enjoys a challenge.

Saucier also received the Outstanding Vocalist Award and the Junior Star Award at the New Brunswick Competitive Festival of Music in St. John.

Saucier acknowledges that an opera career may be difficult to follow in this region of the world.  She said, "I want to move to Europe and then hopefully one day perform at the Met."