Marguerite Lavergne

Marguerite Lavergne. Soprano, b Montreal 23 Nov 1931; B MUS piano (Montreal) 1951. She studied piano at the École supérieure de musique de Lachine of the Sisters of Ste-Anne and voice with Sister Louis-Raymond.

Lavergne, Marguerite

Marguerite Lavergne. Soprano, b Montreal 23 Nov 1931; B MUS piano (Montreal) 1951. She studied piano at the École supérieure de musique de Lachine of the Sisters of Ste-Anne and voice with Sister Louis-Raymond. She received the grand prize (1952) in 'Opportunity Knocks', the Cécile-Léger Scholarship (1953), and the 1954 Prix Archambault and won first place in 1956 in 'Singing Stars of Tomorrow'. On a Quebec government scholarship she studied 1956 in Vienna with Ferdinand Grossmann and Erik Werba. After making her debut (1954) as the first Flower Maiden in a production of Parsifal under the direction of Charles Houdret at the Show Mart in Montreal, Lavergne sang Oscar and Elisabetta, respectively, in the Opera Guild of Montreal's productions of The Masked Ball (1955) and Don Carlos (1956). For the Montreal Festivals she appeared as the Countess in The Marriage of Figaro and sang in Bach's Mass in B Minor in 1956, sang in Brahms' Requiem under Erich Leinsdorf and Bach's Cantata No. 52 in 1958, and was Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte (a role she had sung first in 1956 on CBC TV) in 1962.

Lavergne gave many recitals and sang frequently in radio and TV opera productions, notably in the title role of Gluck's Alceste. She premiered Pierre Mercure'sDissidence in 1955 and his Cantate pour une joie in 1956. In 1958, with the Hart House Orchestra, she sang Britten's Les Illuminations at the Brussels Worlds Fair.

Married to Alfonso Ghedin, a violist with I Musici and later with the Quartetto Beethoven, Lavergne has lived for many years in Italy where, in 1977, she was invited by conductor Pierluigi Urbini to be the soloist in Mahler's Symphony No. 4 presented in Rome by the Orchestra Sinfonica dell' Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia.

Lavergne's voice, one of great beauty and range, is heard on recordings of Cantate pour une joie, of Jean Papineau-Couture'sPsaume CL (with the Montreal Bach Choir), and, with the Pro Musica Orchestra of Vienna under Ferdinand Grossmann, of Mozart's Exsultate, Jubilate, and the 'Benedictus sit Deus' from the Offertorium pro omni tempore, K117 (Turnabout 34029).