Georges Dufresne

Georges (Joseph-Édouard) Dufresne. Tenor, radio producer, b Nicolet, Que, 21 May 1894, d Montreal 25 Jun 1973. After receiving his formal education at the Nicolet Seminary, he settled in Montreal, where he studied with Rodolphe Mathieu and Albert Clerk-Jeannotte.

Dufresne, Georges

Georges (Joseph-Édouard) Dufresne. Tenor, radio producer, b Nicolet, Que, 21 May 1894, d Montreal 25 Jun 1973. After receiving his formal education at the Nicolet Seminary, he settled in Montreal, where he studied with Rodolphe Mathieu and Albert Clerk-Jeannotte. He continued his vocal studies in Paris under Jean de Reszke, Albert Dumontier, and André Paulet and learned stagecraft under Jean Fournetz. During World War I he served in the Canadian army and was decorated by the French Republic. He made his debut in 1919 at the Gaîté-Lyrique theatre, Paris, under the name 'Dufranne' and sang elsewhere in France as well as in England and later in the USA. He sang The Merry Widow with Mary Garden at New York's Knickerbocker Theater and then signed a four-year contract with the Keith Vaudeville. During this period he appeared with artists from the Metropolitan Opera, singing the title role in Faust, Des Grieux in Manon, and Don José in Carmen. In 1927 he participated in the opening performances at New York's Paramount Theater. The following year he signed a three-year contract with the Roxy Theater, where he shared top billing in 1930 with Ernestine Schumann-Heink. For the Chicago Opera he sang leading roles in I Pagliacci, Mignon, Manon, La Bohème, and Lucia di Lammermoor. He returned to Canada in 1935 and appeared in recitals and on CBC radio. He also sang with the Variétés lyriques. In 1942 he joined the staff of the CBC as a producer of concert and opera broadcasts, a position he held until his retirement in 1967.