Gaston Germain

Gaston Germain, bass, teacher, administrator (born 1 March 1933 in Québec City, QC; died 26 July 2015 in Montréal, QC). Lauréat (AMQ) 1960, premier prix voice (CMQ) 1961. An accountant 1951-7, he studied voice 1957-61 at the CMQ with Ria Lenssens and Raoul Jobin.

Gaston Germain, bass, teacher, administrator (born 1 March 1933 in Québec City, QC; died 26 July 2015 in Montréal, QC). Lauréat (AMQ) 1960, premier prix voice (CMQ) 1961. An accountant 1951-7, he studied voice 1957-61 at the CMQ with Ria Lenssens and Raoul Jobin. He won various competitions, received a grant in 1961 from the Quebec government, and continued his training that year with Rachele Maragliano-Mori in Turin (vocal technique). In 1962 he worked with Erik Werba at the Salzburg Mozarteum (German repertoire) and in 1963 with Pierre Bernac in Paris (French repertoire). He participated in 1963 in the Quebec Symphony Orchestra's Beethoven Festival, performing in the Ninth Symphony. The following year he took courses in stage skills at the École normale de Paris and received the Prix d'excellence at the Concours international d'interpretation de la mélodie française. He was soloist in Lully's Te Deum, presented by the orchestra of the Paris Cons Société des Concerts.

Germain made his professional Canadian debut 22 Jun 1964 at the PDA as Antipas in Guillaume Couture's oratorio Jean le Précurseur and toured Canada 1964-5 with an opera trio for the JMC (YMC). In the Brahmssaal of the Musikverein in Vienna during the 1965 World Congress of the JM International Federation he gave a recital which earned him the Vienna Press Prize. He was a soloist in 1966 with the Quebec SO in Mozart's Requiem conducted by Sergiu Celibidache. He took further training in the interpretation of German Lieder with John Newmark and in 1967 toured Europe for JM. In Montreal he appeared at the World Festival of Expo 67 as Lodovico in Otello with the MSO and as a soloist in the premiere of Matton'sTe Deum with the Quebec SO under Francoys Bernier. The same year he gave a joint recital with Micheline Tessier at Carnegie Hall. He performed the title role in the recording of Jean Vallerand'sMagicien (1967, CBC SM-42 and 3-ACM 19).

Germain taught 1968-72 at the Conservatoire de Hull, was general manager 1972-6 of the JMC, and general director 1972-8, then artistic director in 1979 of the JMC Orford Art Centre. He was also president 1977-8 of the OJQ and its administrator 1978-80. He became a member of the Ensemble vocal Arioso at its founding in 1980 and began teaching singing at the University of Montreal in 1981. He was a vocal consultant to the Atelier lyrique de l'Opéra de Montréal 1985-8. In 1983, he sang Varèse's Ecuatorial with the SMCQ Ensemble under Serge Garant. Germain was a founding member of the Groupe baroque de Montréal and of the Lanaudière Music Camp. See Camp musical de Lanaudière, and jury member of various international competitions, including the International J. S. Bach Competition in Leipzig in 1976. These duties curtailed his vocal career. Nevertheless, he was well versed in the French mélodie, Lieder and oratorio and became known through appearances on CBC radio and TV and engagements with Canadian orchestras. He received the 1973 Prix de musique Calixa-Lavallée. He was married to Andrée Gauthier, a teacher at the CMM.