- Celebrating 25 Years February 6, 2018
Today I reflect on my life and I give thanks for the journey, for the experiences past and present.
The year 2016 was a special year for me; I was celebrating 25 years of a professional singing career. I did my professional singing Debut on October 27th, 1991, the day of my 23rd birthday. It took place in Graz, Austria, where I was the bass soloist in the Mozart’s REQUIEM. It was an out-of-this-world experience for me and a memory that still to this day gives me shivers of pure joy!
Caught in the magic of this experience, I had then wished to be singing for a living and dreamt of travelling to see the world. Never had I imagined that 25 years later, I would have sung on some of the most famous opera stages of the world and that I would still be going strong at it! But most importantly, I wanted to be happy in my life and career, whatever shape or direction they would take. I also made the promise to myself to humbly retire and change path, should I ever feel that this path was not for me anymore, or that I had said all that there was to say or sung all the notes that I had in me.
Now 26 years later, after thousands of performances, countless hours of practice, daily vocalizing, voice lessons, coaching, rehearsals, travelling, flights, long absences from home, successes, failures, great gifts of opportunities, painful loss of dear friends, colleagues and loved ones, I sit in awe at how my heart is filled with gratitude, joy, peace, love and happiness. I still love singing, walking on the stage, giving life to complex characters, singing impossible vocal lines, feeling the presence of the audience in my gut, jumping into the scary unknown of an obscure music score and finding treasures in it, exploring and discovering new vocal possibilities and skills.
Since my instrument is alive and is the mirror of my life journey, I welcome with humility the maturing of my voice and the organic changes that take place in my instrument, my body, my soul. I also thrive to better know myself in order to always be more authentic on stage and in my everyday life.
I am so grateful to all the teachers, coaches, conductors, directors, impresarios, producers, mentors, audiences, family and friends who supported me and shaped me into the man and artist that I am today; I am grateful to everyone of them. I don’t know what the future holds for me, but after all these years on the stage, my daily promise to myself remains the same: Should I one day feel that this path doesn’t make me happy or that I have vocally given everything that I had in me, I will then humbly change path and find happiness elsewhere. I haven’t heard that inner voice telling me to do so yet…
Well into my 27th year of singing career, I am still filled with dreams, but well anchored in the present, surrounded by a wonderful world wide community of artists, by a loving family and partner, by dear faithful friends, and by music, sweet blessed music, which still fills my soul with joy and delight.
- Harry Somers’ LOUIS RIEL July 14, 2017
After nine successful performances of Harry Somers’ LOUIS RIEL at the Canadian Opera Company and the National Arts Centre, the performances for the Quebec City chapter of the LOUIS RIEL summer trilogy will begin in a few days. I am filled with gratitude for the gift of the magnificent role of Monseigneur Alexandre-Antonin Taché and for my wonderful colleagues who have so generously shared their talents, heart and soul on this epic story and musical drama.
I am also humbled by the opportunity that I have been given to reprise a role that Canadian bass Joseph Rouleau created in 1967. Monsieur Rouleau has been through the years a voice teacher, a mentor, a constant supporter, a great singing example, as well as being a native of the Bas-Saint-Laurent town of Matane like myself. People to this day wonder if there is something in the salty air of the sea that gave us the basso profondo voice!
It is pure joy to be with all my colleagues in Quebec City and also to be spending some time in that city that I love deeply! Probably afterwards I bring my daughter and I will take her to walk through this beautiful city in her jogger baby stroller. Not to mention that singing at L’Opéra de Québec is always like coming home; it is a gem of an opera company! Hope to see you on July 30, August 1 and 3, 2017 at Le Grand Théâtre de Québec for three performances of LOUIS RIEL!