Marie-Danielle Parent. Soprano, b Montreal 11 Mar 1954; B MUS (Sherbrooke) 1976, M MUS (Montreal) 1978. She studied voice with Louise André and staging with Charlotte Boisjoli at the University of Montreal. Thanks to a Canada Council grant, she received further training (1978-1979) at the Shawnigan Summer School (Johannesen International School of the Arts) in Victoria, BC, with Léopold Simoneau and Rose Bampton, who encouraged her to go and study in New York.(1980-1). She won numerous competitions including the MSO Concours (1979), the Prix d'Europe (1980) and the Concours de chant français in Belgium (1983).
At the Opéra de Montréal, she sang in Norma (1982), Le Nozze di Figaro (1983), Don Pasquale (1985), Die Zauberflöte (1986), Carmen (1988), and Fidelio (1988); at the Opéra de Québec, in Carmen (1986), La Bohème (1987), and Faust (1988). She was also featured in La Serva padrona by Pergolesi (1987) and Mozart's Bastien et Bastienne (1988) with I Musici de Montréal. With the McGill Chamber Orchestra she was heard in Orphée et Eurydice at the Festival international de Lanaudière (1989) and in Joseph Quesnel's Colas et Colinette in Montreal (1990). In 1990 she made her New York debut at Carnegie Hall in Manuel de Falla's El Sombrero de tres picos with the MSO. On several occasions, she was the guest of the MSO, the Quebec Symphony Orchestra, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra, the NACO, and the Orchestre métropolitain, in addition to taking part in performances by the Grands Ballets Canadiens. She has given recitals, mosly in Montreal, and she has been heard regularly on CBC radio.
Parent, who has specialized in contemporary repertoire as well, has premiered (1987) John Rea'sOffenes Lied with her sister Yolande at the Montepulciano Festival, Italy, and several compositions by her husband, Denis Gougeon. She made a European tour (1988) with the SMCQ Ensemble conducted by Walter Boudreau, and she was one of the performers in the opera Kopernikus by Claude Vivier at the Festival de Royaumont, France (1989). She has recorded Lonely Child by Vivier with the Orchestre métropolitain conducted by Serge Garant (1984, Centredics CMC-1384 and 4-ACM 36-CD), and Voix intimes by Gougeon with her sister Yolande and the ensemble of the Événements du neuf with Lorraine Vaillancourt conducting (Montréal post-moderne, 1986, Centrediscs CMC-2085). In recognition of her contribution to Canadian new music, in 2009 Parent was named a Canadian Music Centre ambassador.
Yolande Parent, soprano and teacher, b Verdun (Montreal), 18 Nov 1952, B MUS (Montreal) 1982, M MUS (Montreal) 1984, took part, in addition to her regular studies, in training seminars at the Canada Opera Piccola with Léopold Simoneau and Pierrette Alarie (1982), at the Atelier lyrique of the Opéra de Montréal (1984-5) and at the Opera Workshop in New York (1986). She pursued her studies (1986-7) at the Opera Studio in Zurich and was under contract (1987-9) at the Osnabrück theatre (Germany) where she sang about 10 opera parts. In Canada, she has performed with the Studio de musique ancienne, the Événements du neuf ensemble, the SMCQ, the MSO, the Quebec SO and on CBC radio. Also interested in contemporary repertoire, she has premiered several works by Canadian composers, among them Textes d'Eugène Ionesco by José Evangelista and Pour un bouquet de roses by Gougeon. Yolande Parent has recorded works by Poulenc with the Groupe vocal de France conducted by John Alldis (1987, EMI CDC-749086-2). She began teaching at the University of Montreal in 1990.