Annexe 2 : Discographie
On me demande souvent si j'ai enregistré des disques. Non, pas officiellement, mais il en existe quand même quelques-uns. Ce sont des transcriptions d'opéras piratés à la radio ou enregistrés en salle à mon insu.
On a publié un Don Giovanni de Covent Garden où je chante avec Cesare Siepi et Mirella Freni sous la conduite de Georg Solti. Également un Don Carlos de Verdi chanté en français avec la Saguenéenne Édith Tremblay et mes copains André Turp et Joseph Rouleau. Cet opéra avait été enregistré par la radio de la BBC de Londres pour diffusion dans les pays du Commonwealth britannique.
Autre œuvre piratée: Le Te Deum du Québécois Roger Matton, une œuvre écrite sur un texte de Félix-Antoine Savard pour baryton soliste, orchestre et chœur. Après sa création à Paris sous la direction de Françoys Bernier en 1967, Radio-France en a tiré un 33-tours.
(Me permettez-vous une dernière histoire ? La pensée de ce Te Deum me donne encore des sueurs froides. On m'avait envoyé par le courrier, quelques mois avant la date de la représentation, une partition manuscrite ne comportant que la ligne vocale - étendue sur plus de deux octaves - sans l'ombre d'un accompagnement musical! En musique contemporaine, ce genre de situation est très périlleux. Comme les harmonies ne sont pas familières, elles sont «inquiétantes» pour l'oreille et peuvent facilement faire dérailler le chanteur qui n'a pas l'oreille absolue. Pour une fois, l'appréhension me ronge. Et pour cause je n'aurais pas l'occasion d'entendre l'accompagnement d'orchestre avant la générale. En plus, le compositeur serait présent dans le studio 104 de Radio-France quand j'affronterais ces amas d'accords compliqués. Ce concert fait partie de ceux dont je me demande comment je leur ai survécu. Heureusement qu'il y a eu les autres, tous les autres!).
Radio-Canada a également repiqué et mis sur le marché un enregistrement du l Pagliacci télévisé réalisé avec Raoul Jobin et Belva Boroditsky à L'Heure du Concert en 1958, et un autre disque, où je figure parmi une cinquantaine d'artistes, intitulé Wilfrid Pelletier, centième anniversaire.
Baritone praised for his diction
Tuesday, 25 September 2007
Robert Savoie, opera and concert singer: born Montreal, Quebec 21 April 1927; twice married; died Montreal 14 September 2007.
The baritone Robert Savoie had a successful career as an opera and concert singer in Europe and North America as well as in his native Canada. His voice, light and lyrical at the beginning of his career, developed strength and resonance as he grew older, but while singing some of Verdi's heavier baritone roles, he never lost the ability to spin out his French repertory in perfect style.
He spent four seasons at Covent Garden, sang with Scottish Opera and Sadler's Wells (now English National) Opera, as well as several French regional companies. The final years of his singing career were spent at Opéra du Québec; later he formed a lobby group with his fellow French-Canadians, the tenor André Turp and the bass Joseph Rouleau, which resulted in the formation of the Opéra de Montréal.
Savoie was born in Montreal in 1927. At first he studied chemistry, but soon changed to singing and studied for five years with the Canadian soprano Pauline Donalda. She ran the semi-professional Opera Guild of Montreal, and Savoie made his stage début in 1948 as the Second Philistine in Samson et Dalila with the Guild, for whom he sang many more small roles. Then in 1952 he went to Milan to study further with Antonio Narducci. He made his fully professional début in 1953 as Scarpia in Tosca at the Teatro Nuovo in Milan, after which he sang in various Italian and French regional theatres as well as in Canada. In 1961 he was engaged by the Covent Garden Opera Company (as it then was called), making his début as Schaunard in La Bohème.
During his four seasons at Covent Garden, Savoie sang a wide variety of roles. These included, in the Italian repertory, Alfio in Cavalleria rusticana, Tonio in Pagliacci, Sharpless in Madama Butterfly, Amonasro in Aida, Fra Melitone in La forza del destino and one performance of Rigoletto. His French roles included Thoas in Gluck's Iphigénie en Tauride, Don Inigo Gomez in Ravel's L'Heure espagnole and Lescaut in Massenet's Manon. He also dipped a toe into the heavy Wagnerian style with Nachtigall in Die Meistersinger and a Noble of Brabant in Lohengrin, while I remember a splendid Police Inspector in Shostakovich's Katerina Ismailova.
Savoie sang with Scottish Opera from 1965 to 1967, first as a very sympathetic Sharpless, then as a last-minute replacement for Geraint Evans in the title role of Falstaff – his usual role in Verdi's opera was Ford – finally as Valentin in Gounod's Faust and Marcello in La Bohème. For Sadler's Wells he sang Don Inigo Gomez and Tomsky in Tchaikovsky's The Queen of Spades; he was praised for his performance of Tomsky, in particular for his diction – the opera was sung in English. Meanwhile in 1966 he sang Iago in Verdi's Otello at Toulouse and later the same year, Rigoletto in Montreal. They were roles he was now fully equipped vocally to tackle.
In the following years, however, Savoie reverted to the French repertory, singing Valenin in Montreal and Bordeaux; Lescaut in Marseilles and Vancouver; Albert in Massenet's Werther in Rio de Janeiro; and Sancho Panza in Massenet's Don Quichotte in Marseilles. In 1970 he acquired a new Verdi role, Renato in Un ballo in maschera, which he sang at Strasbourg, followed by Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte. Also in 1970 he returned to Montreal to take part in the final performance of the Opera Guild, which closed down after Donalda's death that year. He sang Figaro in The Barber of Seville, a role that had won him an Emmy five years earlier for his performance on Radio-Canada.
Savoie took part in several concert performances in 1972 of Berlioz's La Damnation de Faust (in which he sang Brander) given by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by Georg Solti, first in Chicago, then at Carnegie Hall in New York. The following year he sang the Marquis de Posa in Don Carlos for the BBC.
The baritone spent the rest of his singing career in Canada, retiring in 1981. He then joined with his colleagues André Turp and Joseph Rouleau in successfully lobbying for the creation of the Opéra de Montréal. He also taught singing at McGill University.
ARTHUR KAPTAINIS, The GazettePublished: Tuesday, September 18 2007
Robert Savoie, the Montreal-born baritone whose advocacy helped create the Opéra de Montréal, died Friday of a heart attack in his home. He was 80.
A student of the Montreal soprano Pauline Donalda, Savoie made his premiere in 1948 with her Opera Guild company and sang the title role of Rossini's The Barber of Seville in the company's final performances 20 years later. Abroad, he performed in England and France, notably as Verdi's Rigoletto at Covent Garden. Another career highlight was his 1971 performance in Verdi's Falstaff in the opening season of the Kennedy Centre in Washington.
In the 1970s Savoie was a mainstay of the Opéra du Québec, the first attempt to establish a successor to Donalda's disbanded company in Place des Arts. A BBC recording of Verdi's Don Carlos in the original French version offers a rare document of his resonant baritone, which was well suited to Verdi. It is a legacy he passed on to his nephew and student Gaétan Laperrière.
After retiring from the stage, Savoie joined tenor André Turp and bass Joseph Rouleau in forming the Mouvement d'Action pour l'Art lyrique du Québec, the lobby group that led to the creation of the Opéra de Montréal. Savoie also served as chairman of the Orchestre Métropolitain and founded the Lachine Music Festival.
Savoie is survived by his second wife, Michèle Gaudreau. His brother is the pianist André-Sébastien Savoie.
Viewing is at Collins Clarke Funeral Home, 5610 Sherbrooke St. W., Friday from 5 to 10 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 3:30 p.m. The funeral will take place at Notre Dame de Grâce Church, 5375 Notre Dame de Grâce Ave., Saturday at 4 p.m.
Montreal baritone Robert Savoie dies at age 80
Last Updated: Tuesday, September 18, 2007 | 1:38 PM ET
Robert Savoie, a Montreal-born opera singer considered one of Canada's finest baritones, has died at age 80.
Savoie died Friday of a heart attack in Montreal.
He is known in Quebec as an arts administrator and for his role in founding l'Opéra de Montréal, l'Orchestre Métropolitain and le Mouvement d'action pour l'art lyrique du Québec.
Savoie performed most of that advocacy work after his retirement from the stage in 1981.
As a singer, he had an international career that took him to Milan's La Scala, New York's Carnegie Hall and London's Covent Garden.
He also won an international Emmy in 1965 for his starring role in Radio-Canada's Le Barbier de Séville.
Born April 21, 1927 in Montreal, he studied singing for five years with Pauline Donalda and made his stage debut in 1948 with her Opera Guild of Montreal as the Second Philistine in Samson et Dalila.
He sang secondary roles with the Opera Guild for four years, before moving to Milan to study with Antonio Narducci.
He made his Milan debut in 1953 as Scarpia in Tosca at the Teatro Nuovo and sang an important role in Di Viroli's La Madre under the name Roberto Savoia. In the 1960s, he sang extensively in Italy under that name.
Savoie developed a resonant baritone voice that was particularly suited to Verdi's repertoire.
Savoie was also a fixture on the Quebec opera scene, singing frequently in operas and operettas on Radio-Canada's l'Heure du Concert.
He perfected more than 92 roles and gave more than 3,000 performances in locations as varied as South Africa, France, Scotland, the U.S. and South America.
Among the notable highlights were the title role in Verdi's Rigoletto at Covent Garden and his 1971 performance in Verdi's Falstaff in the opening season of the Kennedy Center in Washington.
He sang the title role in Rossini's The Barber of Seville in the Opera Guild's final performance. The Opera Guild ceased giving recitals after Donalda's death in 1970.
In the 1970s Savoie was a mainstay of the Opéra du Québec, and he joined with tenor André Turp and bass Joseph Rouleau in forming the Mouvement d'Action pour l'Art lyrique du Québec, the lobby group that led to the creation of the Opéra de Montréal.
He was artistic director at the City of Lachine for 20 years, co-ordinating numerous concert series and a yearly summer musical festival. He also taught voice at McGill University.
Savoie is survived by his second wife Michèle Gaudreau and his brother, pianist André-Sébastien Savoie. He is also survived by twi children from his marriage to Aline Duffy, Pierre Paul Savoie and Elizabeth Savoie.
Le lundi 17 septembre 2007
Le baryton Robert Savoie est mort
Photo archives La Presse
On n'entendra plus sa voix large, énergique et virile, partout la même, qu'elle fût parlée ou chantée: Robert Savoie est mort vendredi. Il avait eu 80 ans le 21 avril.
Le baryton natif de Montréal avait étudié chez Pauline Donalda, qui lui avait confié en 1948 un petit rôle à son Opera Guild. Après les grands débuts, en Scarpia de Tosca au Teatro Nuovo de Milan en 1953, et un mandat de cinq ans au Covent Garden de Londres, il nous revint pour les deux Figaro: celui de Mozart en 1967 et celui de Rossini en 1968.
Le chanteur intitula d'ailleurs Figaro-ci, Figaro-là les souvenirs qu'il publia en 1998 avec comme co-auteur sa conjointe, la mezzo Michèle Gaudreau.
Bien qu'avec 95 rôles, en six langues - dont Rigoletto et Falstaff -, Robert Savoie ne connut jamais la carrière qu'il méritait. Conscient et lui-même victime de certaines injustices, il avait été à l'origine du Mouvement d'Action pour l'Art lyrique au Québec, qui mena à la création de l'Opéra de Montréal.
Professeur, il forma notamment Gaetan Laperrière, son neveu et, comme lui, baryton.