Jean-Pierre Hurteau

(Joseph Armand) Jean-Pierre Hurteau. Bass, b Montreal 5 Dec 1924; premier prix (CMM) 1955. He took voice lessons 1947-9 with Sarah Fischer, and a Sarah Fischer Concerts scholarship in 1949 enabled him to make his recital debut at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel.

Hurteau, Jean-Pierre

(Joseph Armand) Jean-Pierre Hurteau. Bass, b Montreal 5 Dec 1924; premier prix (CMM) 1955. He took voice lessons 1947-9 with Sarah Fischer, and a Sarah Fischer Concerts scholarship in 1949 enabled him to make his recital debut at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel. He studied 1949-51 with Albert Cornellier and 1952-5 with Martial Singher at the CMM. His operatic debut was with the Minute Opera (the Sailor's father in Milhaud's Le Pauvre Matelot, 1952), and until 1955 he sang supporting roles in Montreal Festivals productions, at the Opera Guild, and at the Variétés lyriques. He was Titurel in Parsifal with Rose Bampton and Ramon Vinay at Montreal's Show Mart in 1955. Awarded a scholarship by the Quebec government, he studied 1955-8 in Rome with Rachele Maragliano-Mori. At the Capitole theatre in Toulouse he sang Balthazar in Menotti's Amahl and the Night Visitors (1957) and Pimen in Boris Godunov. Engaged by the Opéra and the Opéra-Comique in Paris, he made his debut in March 1958 in The Magic Flute. He remained attached to these theatres until 1970, singing the Commendatore in Don Giovanni (1960), Mephisto in Faust (1961), La Roche in Capriccio (1962), Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte (1963), the title role in The Marriage of Figaro (1964), Mephisto in The Damnation of Faust (1964), and Panthée in The Trojans (1969), not to mention a host of roles in productions with Maria Callas, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Tito Gobbi, Montserrat Caballé, and others and performances in Lyons, Marseilles, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Grenoble, Monte Carlo, and Orange, and at the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus in Greece. In Paris he sang regularly with orchestras and on radio, appearing in Verdi's Requiem (1958), Handel's Acis and Galatea (1966), Prokofiev's War and Peace (1967), and other works.

Hurteau also sang in Penderecki's The Devils of Loudun (Marseilles 1972), Renzo Rosselini's La Reine morte (Rome 1974), and Harry Somers'Louis Riel (the role of Mgr Taché in the 1975 COC production, in Toronto, Ottawa, and Washington). In 1980 he sang the role of Angelotti in Tosca for the Opéra de Montréal. Following his performance in Capriccio, the critic Jacques Bourgeois wrote: 'Jean-Pierre Hurteau possesses not only a splendid voice, which will make him a Wotan and a Sachs in a few years, but a remarkable presence and authority as well' (Arts, February 1962). René Dumesnil called him 'a perfect Alfonso' (Le Monde, 12 Feb 1963). In Canada Hurteau has also been heard in recital and on CBC TV, for which he sang Inigo Gomez in Ravel's L'Heure espagnole (1955) and the Comte des Grieux in Manon (1959).


Further Reading

  • Vaillancourt, Benoît. 'Un autre des nötres a l'Opéra de Paris,' Montreal Patrie du dimanche, 23 Nov 1958

    Saint-Germain, Pierre. 'Profile: Pierre Hurteau,' OpCan, Feb 1967

    Rich, Maria F. Who's Who in Opera (New York 1976)