Magazine article Opera Canada

L'Heure Rose

Magazine article Opera Canada

L'Heure Rose

Article excerpt

Quebec soprano Helene Guilmette won a string of awards a decade ago, since then appearing in operas houses in Paris, Brussels, Strasbourg, Munich, Tokyo, Montreal and Toronto, in a range of roles from Rameau, Handel and Mozart to Gounod and Poulenc. She's also a busy concert and recital singer. While browsing through a sheet-music store in Paris in 2007, she stumbled across some works by French composer Melanie (Mel) Bonis (1858-1937). Realizing their worth and hoping to expose more compositions by forgotten women, Guil-mette embarked on a labor of love. First in recital and now through the medium of recording, she continues to demonstrate the creativity, talent and vitality of numerous 19th- and 20th-century female composers.

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L'Heure Rose, titled after one of the songs featured, contains 23 songs by 10 composers. Pauline Viardot, Amy Beach and Cecile Chaminade are the relatively familiar names on this disc, with the more obscure being those of Bonis, Jeanne Landry, Augusta Holmes and: Nadia and Lili Boulanger. Of special interest are two songs by the Ottawa-born Landry (1922-2011). A student of Nadia Boulanger's in Paris, Landry became a noted solo pianist, duo-pianist and accompanist in this country, before finishing her career as a teacher of harmony, counterpoint and accompanying at Laval University for over 30 years. …

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