Salvator Issaurel

Salvator (Guillaume) Issaurel. Tenor, teacher, b Marseilles 23 Jan 1871, d Montreal 4 Dec 1944. He studied voice in his hometown and later, until 1898, with Masson at the Paris Cons.

Issaurel, Salvator

Salvator (Guillaume) Issaurel. Tenor, teacher, b Marseilles 23 Jan 1871, d Montreal 4 Dec 1944. He studied voice in his hometown and later, until 1898, with Masson at the Paris Cons. He made his Opéra-Comique debut 1 Apr 1898 in Paul Lacôme's La Nuit de St-Jean, and took part 10 May in the premiere of Vincent d'Indy's lyric drama Fervaal, conducted by the composer. He was engaged by the Durieu-Nicosias company as a light tenor, and went to Montreal in October 1899, singing at the Monument national and then at the Academy of Music in Quebec City. Under the name of Salvator, he sang the lead roles in Faust, Mireille, Mignon, Roméo et Juliette, Lakmé, and La Juive. He went with the company to the USA and to Cuba, where it was dispersed following a financial disaster in January 1900. After singing in Faust at the French Opera House in New Orleans, he returned to Europe and performed in Belgium and Holland. He was back in France in 1903, and sang in Marseilles and Royan the following year with the Canadian soprano Béatrice La Palme, whom he married in Paris in 1908.

Several years before his marriage, however, Isaurel had given up performing to study with Jean-Baptiste Faure and Jean de Reszke. He also consulted Dr Marage, a renowned voice specialist. He made a distinguished reappearance in 1907 at the Théâtre de la Gaité in Paris, singing with his fiancée in a series of performances of Godard's La Vivandière. Persistent stage-fright led Issaurel to give up an active career, and in 1909 he and his wife went to London, where he opened a studio. In July 1911 they moved to Montreal; Issaurel taught 1911-14 at the Columbian Conservatory (Montreal) and then briefly at the Canadian Academy of Music.

At the end of 1914, Béatrice La Palme also gave up her career, and she and Issaurel opened a vocal arts studio which was in operation until his death. Many of his pupils have become famous in Canada and abroad: Pierrette Alarie, Camille Bernard, Germaine Bruyère, Louis Chartier, Paul-Émile Corbeil, Albert Cornellier, Jeanne Desjardins, Graziella Dumaine, Roger Filiatrault, Marie-José Forgues, Jacques Gérard, Blanche Gonthier, Charles Goulet, Émile and Romain Gour, Jules Jacob, Jean-Paul Jeannotte, Joseph-Victor Ladéroute, Marthe Létourneau, Anna Malenfant, Ulysse Paquin, Gérard Paradis, Jacqueline Plouffe, Léopold Simoneau, Honoré Vaillancourt, and Édouard Woolley.

Issaurel wrote several articles on the voice for La Lyre between 1923 and 1929. In the early 1920s for HMV he made two 78s which are listed in Roll Back the Years. By the quality of his teaching over 33 years, Salvator Issaurel had a marked influence on the evolution of the art of singing in Quebec. He was a member of the Union professionnelle des maîtres du chant français.


Further Reading

  • Gour, Romain. La Palme-Issaurel (Montreal 1948)