Émile Belcourt

Émile Adrien Belcourt, tenor (born 27 June 1926 in Laflèche, SK; died 3 August 2017 in Toronto, ON). B SC (Saskatchewan) 1949.

Though trained as a pharmacist, Émile Belcourt studied during the 1950s at the Academy of Music in Vienna with Editha Fleischer. After appearances in Germany and France, he made his English debut at Covent Garden 19 June 1963 as Gonzalve in L'Heure espagnole and in the same year joined Sadler's Wells (later English National Opera). He made his debut as Pluto in Orpheus in the Underworld and sang Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus, the title role in Offenbach's Bluebeard and His Six Wives, and Raoul in La Vie parisienne. His COC debut 8 September 1973 as Bernard of Clairvaux in the premiere of Charles Wilson's Heloise and Abelard was followed by performances as Camille in The Merry Widow in 1973, Shuisky in Boris Godunov in 1974, Gonzalve in 1974, and Dr Falke in Die Fledermaus in 1975. He sang Shuisky with the Scottish Opera, Macheath in Britten's version of The Beggar's Opera at the 1976 Guelph Spring Festival, and Eisenstein with the Edmonton Opera and the English National Opera. In 1978, 1980 and 1982 he sang Loge in Das Rheingold in Seattle and in 1979 performed in the full Ring cycle there. Also in Seattle, he sang Tristan in Tristan und Isolde in 1981 and Siegmund in Die Walküre in 1982. He was described in the London Financial Times as "a character tenor of great accomplishment." In 1990, he continued to sing with the English National Opera.


Further Reading

  • Mercer, Ruby. 'Unsung heroes of the Ring,' OpCan, Summer 1979

    Citron, Paula. 'Emile Belcourt,' Opera Canada, vol 41, Spring 2000