Louis Verschelden

Louis Verschelden. Baritone, physician, b Ste-Thérèse-de-Blainville (Ste-Thérèse), near Montreal, 11 Jan 1881, d Montreal 18 Mar 1948. He was educated at the Séminaire de Ste-Thérèse, where he was organist while taking lessons in solfège and piano.

Verschelden, Louis

Louis Verschelden. Baritone, physician, b Ste-Thérèse-de-Blainville (Ste-Thérèse), near Montreal, 11 Jan 1881, d Montreal 18 Mar 1948. He was educated at the Séminaire de Ste-Thérèse, where he was organist while taking lessons in solfège and piano. He then studied medicine at Laval University in Montreal (University of Montreal), was a soloist at St James Cathedral, and worked with Guillaume Couture in 1901 to learn the technique of choral conducting. He was choirmaster 1902-44 at St-Louis du Mile-End (later St-Enfant-Jésus) Church and conducted a 45-voice choir with which Paul-Émile Corbeil, Émile Gour, and Joseph Saucier occasionally sang as soloists.

Verschelden studied voice 1921-4 with Salvator Issaurel and gave many concerts in Montreal, Ottawa, St-Hyacinthe, and elsewhere. He sang the role of Jean in the oratorio Jean le Précurseur in 1923, 1924, and 1928 and was a soloist in Massenet's Hérodiade and Honegger's Le Roi David with the Assn des Chanteurs de Montréal. In 1931 he was president of the Orphéon de Montréal.

Verschelden's grandniece Paule Verschelden (mezzo-soprano, b Montreal 17 Apr 1938) studied with Lina Narducci, made her debut in 1967 in Manuel de Falla's The Three-Cornered Hat and in 1970 sang Carmela in his La Vida Breve, both with the MSO. She sang with the Opéra du Québec in Il Trittico in 1971, Rigoletto in 1972 and Manon in 1973. She has toured as a member of the Ensemble Cantabile de Montréal, and has sung in performances such as Bizet's Docteur Miracle at the Poudrière theatre in Montreal in 1976. Her roles on CBC radio have included the title role in Thomas's Mignon in 1970 and Dulcinée in Massenet's Don Quichotte in 1974. She also sang the role of Hansel in Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel at the Festival d'été internationale de Québec in 1981. In 1983 she became a cultural animator at the Maison de la culture Côte-des-Neiges de Montréal, and in 1987 she became responsible for the Concerts populaires d'été at the Maurice Richard Arena.


Further Reading

  • Gaétan. 'Mr Louis Verschelden,' P-T, vol 9, Nov 1903