Adrienne Roy-Vilandré

Adrienne ('Yohadio') Roy-Vilandré (b Roy, m Vilandré). Soprano, folklorist, b Lévis, near Quebec City, Que, 13 Feb 1893, d Montreal 23 Oct 1978. After taking voice lessons in Quebec City with Isa Jeynevald-Mercier, Victor Occelier, and Berthe Roy she made her debut at the Club musical de Québec.

Roy-Vilandré, Adrienne

Adrienne ('Yohadio') Roy-Vilandré (b Roy, m Vilandré). Soprano, folklorist, b Lévis, near Quebec City, Que, 13 Feb 1893, d Montreal 23 Oct 1978. After taking voice lessons in Quebec City with Isa Jeynevald-Mercier, Victor Occelier, and Berthe Roy she made her debut at the Club musical de Québec. She went to Paris in 1922 and studied with Jane Bathori for two years. She returned to Quebec in 1926 and was one of the first singers to perform the works of Honegger, Milhaud, and Poulenc in Canada.

Drawn to folk music, she was introduced to native songs by Marius Barbeau, who taught her the dialects of various tribes. Roy-Vilandré was a pioneer in the gathering and preservation of the musical heritage of the Gitksans, Hurons, Kootenays, Nisrae, Omakas, Sioux, Tuscaroras, and many other tribes, performing their songs in traditional costume while accompanying herself on such instruments as the tom-tom and the chichigwan. In 1934 the Iroquois of Caughnawaga (now Kahnawake) Que, made her an honorary member of the tribe and gave her the name 'Yohadio' ('clear voice of the woods') in recognition of her interest in Iroquois songs and traditions.

She gave hundreds of recitals across Canada (eg, for the Alliance française, at the Canadian Institute of Music, and at Expo 67) and was heard on the CBC, on CKAC radio (Montreal) and CB0FT (Ottawa). She also performed in the USA (notably in New York for the local French-Canadian community and in the studios of the French composer Charles Lagourgue) and in France (Cannes and Paris). Roy-Vilandré contributed articles about music to the Montreal periodicals Le Miroir, L'Autorité, and Le Jour.


Further Reading

  • Duval, Monique. 'Mme Roy-Vilandré: 25 années consacrées à la chanson indienne,' Quebec Le Soleil, 19 Nov 1970

    Lotbinière-Harwood, Suzanne de. 'The story of clear voice of the woods,' Montreal Star, 27 Dec 1975

    Fitzgerald, John. 'Marquise's heart beats to the tom-tom,' Montreal Gazette, 11 Aug 1977