France Duval, mezzo-soprano: [ At Main Cross-Roads ] [ Career Summary ] [ Recordings ] [ Audio Extracts] [ Press Review ] [ Contact ]

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France Duval, mezzo soprano
Career Summary

By Louise Leblanc (Sainte-Foy, Québec City)    

A native of the Beauce in Québec, France Duval began her musical studies under Rollande Dion at the Quebec Conservatory, before going on to complete a degree in Lyric art at Laval University under Michel Ducharme and Louise André.

Armed with an obvious artistic instinct, Madame Duval is currently pursuing a carreer touching many facets of the art form. She combines an exquisitely timbred soprano voice with an exceptional and original gift for the stage.

No newcomer, her arrival upon the Lyric art scene is bolthered with an impressive array of musical experiences ranging from studio work on both records and commercials, and over two hundred (200) performances (in Canada and in Europe) of a children's musical theatre production, Le Secret du Capitaine Celsius, which she also co-wrote.

She starts in 1986 in a Montréal production of The Sound of Music, where she plays The Baroness Elsa. Her performance is highly acclaimed.

In 1987 she joins the cast of the "Nouvelles Variétés lyriques" production of Jacques Offenbach's La Vie Parisienne under the direction of baritone Bruno Laplante.

Both artists decide in 1989 to form a Duo, "Le duo lyrique Laplante-Duval", using both stage and disc, and delving into the marvelous repertoire of the world's most beautiful songs.

Their very first programme, "Les chemins de l'amour" (The Ways of Love), with songs of the "Rolling Twenties", they sing it in Québec, in Mexico, in Asia (Japan & Korea), and in Australia. The success is immediate. The formula is fresh, very simple, romantic and full of charm, both artists being completely "involved" in their love scenes. A first Compact Disc, "Dialogues d'amoureux" (Words of Love), is launched at the end of 1990. Then another tour in Québec, and another tour in Japan in february 1991 with a new program featuring the most beautiful Love Songs and duets from The Screen...

Since then, there will have been so many other performances: recordings of Modern French Songs (Massenet, Duparc), tours in Asia, with a complete concert TV recording in Tokyo, and in Europe, Orlofsky in "Fledermaus" (ten performances), Aspasie in "Phi-Phi" (twenty performances), Viennese concerts with the Amati Orchestra...

In 1994 France Duval and Bruno Laplante make Quebec City their home base, from where they continue to launch their national and international tours and to record their new albums: "L'opérette française" (1997), "Éternels baisers" (1998), ...

In 1998 France Duval (Gemma) with Bruno Laplante (Bigot the Intendant, Laplante being also the producer and artistic director of the show) and six other classical singers, sixty musicians of the Quebec Symphonic Orchestra, and a chorus, let people revive in Quebec City a forgotten Canadian historical Opera, "L'Intendant Bigot" (1929): two nice outside performances at night in presence of a large public, in which are many descendants of the composer, Ulric Voyer.

Since 2000 the France Duval and Bruno Laplante two children, Rosemarie and Mathilde (who were eight and four years old at that time), are often both included in their concert or show performances. – Both daughters began performing on the stage at the age of four, with much pleasure, accuracy, measure and natural. All the family is in Europe for summer 2002 and, when back to Quebec City, finish the first family recording, released the same year.

At the end of May 2004, along the Saint Lawrence River estuary, France Duval and Bruno Laplante offer with a tenor the first world public performances of two Charles Gounod's works (five sold-out performances, one at each of five locations): the cantata "Fernand" (1839), never published before, and the hymn "La Liberté éclairant le Monde" (1876; 'Liberty Enlightening the World'). It was for their daughters their first orchestra accompanied concert: they sang a duo by Bordese ("Les voix rivales"). In December 2004 they have their family first singing tour in Japan (in four cities), but it is the 10th singing tour in Japan for the Duo of France and Bruno, in 15 years.

In August 2005, to participate in celebrating the last Sixty Years of Peace in Europe, the family sang in France (two performances) with an international chorus and a German orchestra. The young Canadian Rosemarie and Mathilde perform into the choir, while their father and mother are soloists aside two German soloists, for two works of Gounod: the Requiem (1893; Gounod's last work, a mass) and Gallia - Lamentation (1871; an oratorio motett for soprano solo, chorus, orchestra and organ), France Duval being there the soloist of that work.

At the end of Autumn 2006 they offer in Quebec City ten sold-out much appeciated performances of their family own new Christmas Concert and Show. They gave the same program each year after, and added in 2007 a new family recording and a new program to their family tours, Chansons d'autrefois (Songs from the Past), and in 2008, a special program, Prière en famille (Family Prayer old songs), they sang in Quebec City and in France the year after.

At the beginning of March 2010, the family sang a program of Movie Songs, at the "16e Rendez-vous du cinéma québécois et francophone de Vancouver", in British Columbia. The Duo returned to Vancouver in the next December to sing at the André Mathieu Event, and to Quebec City for a special Christmas Concert...

France Duval, a now yearly invited Singer of the Vancouver International Song Institute, is also a Classical Singing Teacher in a College nearby Quebec City. She combines many well-known methods (from Pierre Bernac, Charles Panzera, Lilli Lehmann, Richard Miller, and many others) to Gerda Alexander's eutony, into her voice lessons.

France Duval, mezzo-soprano: [ At Main Cross-Roads ] [ Career Summary ] [ Recordings ] [ Audio Extracts] [ Press Review ] [ Contact ]

Last updated: October 25, 2014