Jean-Paul Jeannotte

Jean-Paul Jeannotte. Tenor, teacher, administrator, b Rawdon, north of Montreal, 9 Mar 1926. He studied voice in Montreal in 1944 with Salvator Issaurel and 1945-6 with Émile Gour. He continued his studies in Paris in 1947 with Mme d'Estainville Rousset and 1951-3 with Pierre Bernac.

Jeannotte, Jean-Paul

Jean-Paul Jeannotte. Tenor, teacher, administrator, b Rawdon, north of Montreal, 9 Mar 1926. He studied voice in Montreal in 1944 with Salvator Issaurel and 1945-6 with Émile Gour. He continued his studies in Paris in 1947 with Mme d'Estainville Rousset and 1951-3 with Pierre Bernac. In 1947 he made his debut in Cherbourg as Vincent in Mireille and Piféar in Adam's Si j'étais roi. His Montreal debut came the following year with the Variétés lyriques as Fritellini in Audran's La Mascotte, and he performed often with this company until 1955. With the Minute Opera in 1949 he sang Bastien in Mozart's Bastien et Bastienne and the Narrator in Monteverdi's Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda. In 1950 he toured in France as a soloist with the Disciples de Massenet.

During the ensuing years Jeannotte made many appearances on stage, in concert, and on radio and TV. He made a series of tours 1952-3 for the JMC and took part 1955-8 in the weekly CBC radio program 'L'Âme des poètes'. His artistry was particularly apparent in recital, and he excelled in the performance of French, German, and Italian songs during many tours of Canada and a 1961 tour of Europe and the USSR with the pianist Jeanne Landry. A distinguished Pelléas in Debussy's opera Pelléas et Mélisande, Jeannotte sang the role opposite Suzanne Danco in a 1955 CBC concert performance of the opera, and in another, broadcast by the ORTF the same year, with Gérard Souzay as Golaud. Equally noteworthy were his portrayals of Gonzalve in Ravel's L'Heure espagnole (CBC 1955), Basilio in The Marriage of Figaro (Montreal Festivals 1956), and Bobino in Blackburn'sSilent Measures. He sang Bobino in the 1956 premiere on CBC TV, on stage in Toronto and Montreal, and more than 100 times on a 1960-1 JMC tour and in other productions. He performed with several orchestras and chamber music groups including the Ensemble Jean-Philippe-Rameau which he helped found in 1954.

Jeannotte taught 1964-79 at Laval University where he conducted 1973-9 the Laval Vocal Quartet. He also taught at the École Vincent-d'Indy. He was vice president 1964-6 and president 1966-72 of the UDA and a member 1969-76 of the board of directors of the SMCQ, 1973-7 of the board of the PDA, and 1976-80 of the administrative council of the Opéra du Québec. In 1974 he was head of a task force set up by the MACQ to enquire into the state of lyric art, dance, and symphonic music. He was artistic director 1979-89 of the Opéra de Montréal and artistic adviser for the 1989-90 season

Jeannotte is the composer of Propos intimes, four songs for voice and piano on poems by Éloi de Grandmont (Musica 1948; also recorded, by André Turp and Paul Trépanier), and of a Pater for choir which was performed in 1950 at Notre-Dame in Paris. Of his performance as Pelléas, the conductor and critic René Leibowitz wrote in L'Express: 'The choice of the young French-Canadian tenor seemed to me particularly felicitous. I found his intelligent and dramatic interpretation of the role most moving'. In 1987 Jeannotte was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.


Further Reading

  • Angrignon Sirois, Maryse. 'Jean-Paul Jeannotte, directeur artistique,' Aria, vol 6, Autumn 1983

    Morency-Létourneau, Gabrielle. 'Rencontre...,' Alla breve, vol 2, Nov 1985