Paul-Émile Corbeil

Paul-Émile Corbeil. Bass, radio producer, actor, producer, b Montreal 5 Oct 1908, d there 10 Jan 1965. While studying with Salvator Issaurel, he received a grant in 1928 and trophies in 1928 and 1929 from the Delphic Study Club.

Corbeil, Paul-Émile

Paul-Émile Corbeil. Bass, radio producer, actor, producer, b Montreal 5 Oct 1908, d there 10 Jan 1965. While studying with Salvator Issaurel, he received a grant in 1928 and trophies in 1928 and 1929 from the Delphic Study Club. He sang in 1928 in Henri Miro'sVox populi at the Delorimier stadium, and made his operatic debut in 1929 in Massenet's Hérodiade at the St-Denis Theatre. La Lyre (May 1929) remarked on 'the impressive debut of this extraordinary bass.' He performed 1932-4 in Canada and the USA with a vocal quartet, the Imperial Grenadiers, which he had founded with the tenors François Brunet and Gaston Nolin and the baritone Albert Viau. In the spring of 1934 Wilfrid Pelletier presented the quartet in two Metropolitan Opera Sunday concerts. It performed on the NBC network at Radio City Music Hall, and for Bluebird made three 78s whose titles appear in Pionniers du disque folklorique québécois. Corbeil produced several programs for NBC, including 'Hands across the Border.' He returned to Montreal in 1935 as chief producer for radio station CRBC. In 1937 he became the first director of radio station CJBR in Rimouski, Que, and in 1941 he was appointed artistic director of radio station CKAC in Montreal. In September 1941 at the St-Denis Theatre he sang supporting roles in the Metropolitan Opera's productions of Mignon, La Bohème, and Madama Butterfly.

The writings of the popular poet Jean Narrache, whom he had met about 1927, inspired Corbeil to create the character of an old storyteller, presented 1941-9 on CKAC as 'Le Vagabond qui chante.' He was associated with an agency called Radio Programme Producers, and also maintained his own production office. He produced the program 'Les Joyeux Troubadours' 1941-53 for CBC radio and played the title role in 'L'Oncle Paul' ca 1948-55 on CKAC. In 1962 he recorded the poetry of Narrache on three LPs (Musirac): Le Temps de Noël puis du jour de l'An, Le Temps de Pâques, and Le Temps des semences pis des vacances. He also recorded Chansons à répondre avec Paul-Émile Corbeil et les gais copains (Fonorama-MF-5) and one 78 (Victor 55-5226). In addition to his son Claude, his pupils have included Jean-Pierre Comeau, Dolorès Drolet, Guylaine Guy, and Lise Roy.