The 34-year-old Haitian-born Quebecoise soprano Marie-Josée Lord (see biographical stories here and here) is going to be a major figure on opera's world stage very soon.
We saw her in the lead of Puccini's Suor Angelica at the Opera de Montreal on Saturday and were completely awestruck-- both as an actress and as a singer she gave what may be the most compelling, enrapturing operatic performance I've ever seen-- and I've seen dozens of operas at the Met and the Lyric. She has a hauntingly beautiful voice, and real mastery-- Angelica is a demanding role, with a long, uninterrupted, and difficult aria ("Senza mamma") at its heart-- and she was captivating in it.
For now, she seems to mostly sing here. I don't expect that that will last very long, but we're going to treasure being able to attend her performances for as long as it does.