Jacqueline Richard

Jacqueline Richard, pianist, coach, conductor (born 8 March 1928 in Montréal, QC; died 2 August 2015 in Montréal, QC). B MUS (Montreal) 1953. Jacqueline Richard studied piano with Marie-Thérèse Paquin, who taught her the skills of opera accompaniment. She was awarded the Quebec Lieutenant-Governor's medal in 1953.

Jacqueline Richard, pianist, coach, conductor (born 8 March 1928 in Montréal, QC; died 2 August 2015 in Montréal, QC). B MUS (Montreal) 1953. Jacqueline Richard studied piano with Marie-Thérèse Paquin, who taught her the skills of opera accompaniment. She was awarded the Quebec Lieutenant-Governor's medal in 1953. Her first Jeunesses musicales of Canada (Youth and Music Canada) tour, with the violinist Gilles Lefebvre, was followed by several others, notably with Louise Roy 1950-1, Don Garrard 1954-5, Fernande Chiocchio 1956-7, and Napoléon Bisson 1958-9. She was rehearsal pianist 1950-65 for the classes of Rachele Maragliano-Mori and Martial Singher at the Conservatoire de musique du Québec à Montréal and was involved in the opera productions of the Montreal Festivals, the Opera Guild, and the CBC. In 1963 she founded the Boutique d'opéra where, in a period of two years, with the co-operation of young singers, she presented 75 performances of operatic works such as L'Oca del Cairo by Mozart and The Medium by Menotti.

On a 1964 Canada Council grant, Jacqueline Richard studied conducting with Hans Swarowsky in Nice. After coaching for the Royal Conservatory Opera School (University of Toronto Opera Division) 1965-7, she sojourned in Vienna prior to her engagement by the Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Düsseldorf. She then worked with Rolf Liebermann, first at the Hamburg State Opera and later (1973) at the Paris Opera. At the Bayreuth Festival she prepared the singers for Parsifal (1975) and Die Meistersinger (1981). She was coach and conductor for the Courtenay (Youth) Music Centre (1976, 1980) and was director of the Centre Opera Studio of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra (1977). She gave opera classes 1976-8 at Wilfrid Laurier University.

Richard conducted The Barber of Seville for the Vancouver Opera in 1978 and several supplementary concerts of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra 1978-9. That season, she prepared the Dialogues des Carmélites by Poulenc at the University of Western Ontario. She again worked for the Deutsche Opera am Rhein 1979-82, and in the latter year she entered the Benedictines of Solesmes, France. One year later, however, for medical reasons, she returned home permanently. In 1984 she participated in the founding of the Atelier lyrique de l'Opéra de Montréal. In 1985 she began to devote herself to private coaching and to translation projects. She was awarded the Order of Canada in 2001.


Further Reading

  • MacNiven, Elina. 'Artists in profile: Jacqueline Richard,' OpCan, Feb 1966

    Villeneuve, Pâquerette. 'Jacqueline Richard,' Perspectives, 7, 16 Feb 1974

    Baillargeon, Béatrice. "Entrevue avec Jacqueline Richard," Chanter, automne 2000