Bruno Laplante. Baritone, b Beauharnois, near Montreal, 1 Aug 1938; premier prix voice Conservatoire de musique du Québec à Montréal (CMM) 1964. Bruno Laplante studied 1958-64 with Dina Maria Narici, Raoul Jobin, Roy Royal, and Dick Marzollo at the Conservatoire de Musique du Québec. With the help of a bursary 1964-5 from the Quebec government, the Prix d'Europe in 1966, grants 1966-8 from the Canada Council, and a bursary in 1967 from the Goethe Institute of Munich, he studied in Germany, in Paris with Pierre Bernac, and in Montreal with Lina Narducci. He gave his first Paris recital in 1966 and made his opera debut in Cimarosa's Il Matrimonio segreto in Germany in 1968. His European tours established him as a recitalist of international stature. After his return to Canada, he received the special interpretation prize at the 1967 National Jeunesses musicales of Canada (JMC) competition in Guelph, Ont, for his premieres of Canadian songs.
For the JMC Laplante gave recitals and toured 1969-70 with the actor Jacques Zouvi, 1970-1 with Anna Chornodolska, 1973-4 in The Magic Flute, and 1975-7 in The Barber of Seville. He sang Roger in Ciboulette (1970) with the Théâtre lyrique du Québec; Morales in Carmen (1971) with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra; Albert in Werther (1969); Count Gil in The Secret of Susanna (1971); Mercutio in Roméo et Juliette (1972); Ananias in The Burning Fiery Furnace (1973); and Ramiro in L'Heure espagnole (1975) for the CBC. With the Opéra du Québec he sang the Notary in Il Trittico (1971), M de Brétigny in Manon (1973), and Masetto in Don Giovanni (1974). He sang the title role in Vallerand's Le Magicien at the Poudrière Theatre in 1974 and the same year founded the Ensemble cantabile de Montréal. In 1977 he was Roderick in the premiere, on German TV, of Debussy's unfinished and unpublished opera The Fall of the House of Usher and performed Serge Garant's Rivages on the SMCQ's (Société de musique contemporaine du Québec) European tour.
As Concert Artist
Laplante's supple and expressive voice and his exceptional qualities as an interpreter of romantic song won him (1977) the Grand Prix du disque de l'Académie du disque français for the album Le Livre d'or de la mélodie française (vol 1). In 1978 he and the pianist Janine Lachance made a three-week tour of France, Belgium, and Norway. In 1985 Laplante undertook two other tours, one in Japan and the other in China, performing with the soprano Brigitte Toulon as a duet. The next year he founded the Nouvelles Variétés lyriques. In 1987 he sang the role of Zurga in Bizet's Les Pêcheurs de perles at the Avignon Theatre, then gave recitals in Brazil and in Athens. The following year he completed another tour in Japan with the pianist Marc Durand, and in Singapore, Jakarta, Hong Kong, and Cairo with Brigitte Toulon. In 1989 he formed a duo with the mezzo-soprano France Duval, with whom he recorded Dialogues d'amoureux (1990, AN-9401) and Poëmes Vocaux (1995, AN 2 9406), and continues to perform.
In addition to performing, Laplante has served since 1994 as artistic director of his production company Le Nouveau Théâtre Musical (NTM). In May 2004 the company was responsible for the first known publication and world premiere of Charles Gounod's cantata Fernand. Bruno Laplante is a recipient of the Medal of the National Assembly of Quebec (2003).