Opéra national du Québec
Opéra national du Québec. Founded in 1948 by Édouard Woolley to permit opera students in Quebec to sing in important centres. It performed in Quebec City, Montreal (Ermitage), Trois-Rivières, and some 10 other cities, and toured New Brunswick. Woolley was music director, and also directed the staging. An orchestra accompanied the first productions but soon was replaced by a Hammond organ (played by Roland Roy) and two pianos. Leading roles were given to such guests as Aline Dansereau, Paul de Meule, Gérard Gélinas, Thérèse Lambert-Gosselin, Marie-Germaine Leblanc, Alphonse Ledoux, Fernand Martel, Joseph Rouleau, and Pierre Vidor. Some 40 performances were given of six operas: Faust (1949), Lakmé (1950; the Quebec premiere at the Palais Montcalm), Carmen (1950), Roméo et Juliette (1951), Rigoletto (1951), and La Bohème (1952). Despite its public success and its value as an advanced school for singers the company disbanded in 1952 for financial reasons.