Joseph Rouleau Remembered (1929-2019)

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The Canadian musical community has been hit hard by the passing of Canadian bass Joseph Rouleau on July 12, 2019. The news was first shared on Facebook:

19 hrs

Joseph a été d’un tel appui et d’une telle inspiration pour moi lorsque j’ai pris la barre de l’OCM il y a 3 ans. Je pense spécialement à Renée en ce moment. Jos, tu retrouveras ton cher ami André.

Not only was Rouleau a world-class singer, his tireless work at championing music and opera consumed his life. Rouleau has been a donor and Ambassador to La Scena Musicale and we mourn his passing and give our condolences to his wife Renée and his children and grandchildren.

When details of the funeral become available, we will publish it here. Send your messages of condolences and memories to [email protected] and we’ll publish them on this page.

Here are some tributes already published:

Enclosed are Interviews and articles about Joseph Rouleau we have published in past issues of La Scena.

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  1. In 2005 I had the opportunity to conduct a concert version of Wagner’s “Die Walküre” Act 1 with the McGill Symphony Orchestra at Place des Arts in Salle Pelletier.
    Stefano Algieri and Jane Eaglen sang the parts of Siegmund and Sieglinde.
    For the part of Hunding, the then 76 years old Joseph Rouleau accepted our invitation, and although he never sang that part before, he memorized it, sang it with immense expression and authenticity, with a diction that suggested a singer of rather German than French tongue, and he added
    some semi-staging to this otherwise concert-like performance with the kind of artistry which nobody could ever forget, on-and off stage.

    Joseph Rouleau’s dedication as Head of Jeunesse Musicales and his involvement with numerous musical institutions, particularly in Montreal, is legendary, and he set an immense example not only for young singers and musicians, but in fact for all of us in the music community!
    He was one of our most celebrated soloists and he will be in our thoughts throughout the coming season, particularly in several MGSO concerts which include singers.

    Joseph Rouleau’s passing is a moment of great sadness, but also of saying a deep and heartfelt Thank You to a great artist and human being!
    Sharing my deepest sympathy with all who knew and loved him,

    Alexis Hauser
    Artistic Director, McGill Symphony Orchestra and Pronto Musica Chamber Orchestra

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