Renée Maheu(x)

Renée Maheu(x) (née Anctil). Soprano, journalist, biographer (born 14 February 1929 in Québec City, QC; died 19 March 2007 in Cowansville, QC).

Renée Maheu(x)

Renée Maheu(x) (née Anctil). Soprano, journalist, biographer (born 14 February 1929 in Québec City, QC; died 19 March 2007 in Cowansville, QC). She studied piano and voice in Montreal with Raoul Jobin and Louise André (1957-60), and then with Bernard Diamant (1960-5); in Rome with Maestra Fambri and Giorgio Favaretto (1968-70); in Paris with Pierre Bernac (1967-8) and Ré Koster (1971-4). She also attended 1965-8 the courses in musicology taught by Norbert Dufourcq at the Paris Cons. She made her solo debut 1959 in Haydn's Creation with the Quebec Symphony Orchestra conducted by Françoys Bernier. From 1960 to 1972, she performed in Canada, Paris, London, and Rome, notably with the McGill Chamber Orchestra, the MSO, the Accademia di Santa Cecilia (under Fernando Previtali), Kenneth Gilbert, André Turp, Vlado Perlemuter, Huguette Dreyfus, Christian Lardé and Marie-Claire Jamet, as well as on a JMC (YMC) tour. Following studies in French 18th-century vocal music on a Canada Council grant (1965), she became one of the first to introduce in Canada the French cantatas of that period as edited by Renée Viollier, a musicologist from Geneva. She took part in several CBC television programs, such as 'L'Heure du concert' (for example in Dialogues des Carmélites, conducted by Jean-Marie Beaudet), and such radio programs as 'Concert', 'CBC Wednesday Night' and 'CBC Morning Recital'. In Paris, she recorded (1967) Marie Noël's Chants sauvages with Françoise Petit and the choir of the JM de France (on the Sofreson label).

Because of a serious accident in Yugoslavia in 1968, Maheu turned to writing and journalism. As a member of the Fédération nationale de la presse française and of the Syndicat professionnel de la critique musicale et dramatique de Paris, she has authored numerous reviews and texts in various genres, on international festivals in particular. She has also contributed to Le Devoir (1974-80), TheCanada Music Book, Musicanada, Opera Canada, Sonances, Opéra international, Harmonie Panorama-Musique, and the EMC.

As a journalist, she has been involved with various CBC radio and television programs, among them 'Chronique du disque', 'L'Opéra du samedi', and 'Femmes d'aujourd'hui'. For Radio-France, she produced 1984 a 12-program series entitled 'Les Grandes voix du Canada', and in 1988-9, she was responsible for a 26-program series, 'Jeunes virtuoses', telecast on TV5 Canada.

Moreover, she has published impressive biographical works: Raoul Jobin, la voix d'or du Québec (Paris 1983) and Pierrette Alarie et Léopold Simoneau: deux voix, un art (Montreal 1988). In the field of cinema, she served 1987 as music consultant and co-script writer for a documentary by Gilles Carle, Vive Québec. In 1991, she was preparing for the latter a feature film on bel canto with Gian Carlo Menotti. A Pro Helvetia Fellow in 1990, she was made a member of the Order of Canada that same year.