Monique Miville-Deschenes

Monique Miville-Deschenes. Singer-song writer, writer, actress, b St-Jean-Port-Joli, Que, 1940.

Miville-Deschenes, Monique

Monique Miville-Deschenes. Singer-song writer, writer, actress, b St-Jean-Port-Joli, Que, 1940. She was discovered through the series of TV competitions 'St-Georges Côté et ses amateurs' in Quebec City, which she won twice in 1956; of special note was her performance of Félix Leclerc's 'Notre Sentier.' The following year she studied Quebec folk music with Raoul Roy and began appearing in boîtes à chansons in Quebec. In 1961 her first single, 'Salut la terre,' became the theme song of the semaine des Jeunes ruraux. Her first LP (Sel SSP-24.092) was issued the next year. In 1964 she gave a recital at Plateau Hall and was the opening performer for a concert by Félix Leclerc at the National Theatre. She took part in a tour of Leclerc's play Le Petit Bonheur, presented in 1964 in Quebec and the following year at the Théâtre des Trois-Baudets in Paris, where she also performed as a singer. In 1965 she made a second LP (Sel SSP-24.127). In 1966 she represented Quebec in Brussels at the gala of the Communauté des programmes radiophoniques de langue française. After a recital during the1968 Festival d'été de Québec, Jacqueline Mondy drew attention to the 'simplicity of the songs in which everyday words take on poetic meaning' (Journal de Québec, 8 Jul 1968). Miville-Deschenes made two LPs in 1969, one of her own songs (Gamma GS-134) and the other, Christmas songs (Gamma GS-135/Alpec A-74006); In April 1971 she performed at Le Patriote and gave poetry recitals in Quebec, in Ontario and in New-Brunswick. She recorded the LP Battus des vents (Gamma GS-195) in 1975.

Monique Miville-Deschênes, who accompanies herself on the guitar, has always displayed restraint as well as a strong attachment to her origins. Her early writing, which is descriptive and imbued with rustic poetry, evoked the charm of the country life and the seascapes of her region. Her concern for people is found in such songs as : 'Si mon père,' 'Dépêchons-nous d'être heureux,' 'Soldat de velours,' 'La Chanson du vieux Henri noyé au large d'Anticosti,' and 'L'Enfant de septembre.' She composed the music of Félix Leclerc's song 'Je cherche un abri'. She performed the theme song of Pierre Perrault's film Le Règne du jour in 1967. In the 1970s, Monique Miville-Deschênes, while continuing to compose songs, began writing for the theatre. With the actors Yves Massicotte and Louis de Santis she had already formed in 1965 a troupe called Les Gesteux, for which she wrote several plays, including La Guerre des saisons in 1968 and Le Temps et les sons and Les Oiseaux de Bélonie in 1969 and toured, notably for the JMC (YMC) 1968-71. Her dramatic piece Une croix de chemin was presented 1973 and 1974 in the gardens of Saint Joseph's Oratory in Montreal. In 1991 she had a dozen plays.to her credit. Until 1988 she was host of the Café-Théâtre Le Tit Chat in St-Jean-Port-Joli. In 1989, she played a role in the TV serial 'Entre chien et loup' on Télé-Métropole.


Further Reading

  • Massicotte, Yves. 'Monique Miville-Deschênes - a beautiful name, beautiful talent,' CanComp, 43, Oct 1969