Émile Gour

April 21, 1893 near Montréal – September 24, 1970 Montréal

Gour studied piano and harmony with Alphonse Lavallée-Smith and voice with Salvator Issaurel from 1915 to 1922.

While pursuing a career as a singer, Gour was employed by the Canadian postal service.

He was a soloist at St-Louis-de-France and St-Jean-Baptiste churches and for 10 years at Notre-Dame.

From 1940 until his death, he was choirmaster at the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce and St-Antonin churches. During the era of silent pictures, Gour was very active, performing songs and excerpts from operas before the films were shown. He participated in concerts given by the organist Joseph Bonnet in Toronto, Guelph, London (Ont) and elsewhere.

After hearing him in the role of Jesus in Massenet's Marie-Magdeleine, Adrien Arcand wrote M. Émile Gour was the best performer, a powerful voice, admirably controlled and projected with ease (Montréal La Presse, 1 December 1922).

He came to be known as The Canadian Caruso, although he did not sound like Caruso.

In 1923, Gour was Samson in a performance in Worcester, Mass, and in 1928, he sang in Honegger's Le roi David in Montréal.

Gour was a member of the Montréal Quartet along with Armand Gauthier, Charles-Émile Brodeur, and Hercule Lavoie. He was also a member of the first Issaurel Vocal Quartet and the Issaurel Mixed Quartet. In New York, for Columbia, he made several recordings.

Émile Gour sings Pagliacci: M'habiller

Émile Gour sings Mireille: Anges du paradis

Émile Gour sings Werther: Pourquoi me réveiller

Émile Gour sings Faust: Alerte! Alerte!, with Yvonne Thibodeau and Joseph Saucier

Columbia, New York ca January 1918
85836-1    L'amant jaloux: Tandis que tout sommeille                            E4601
85837-?    Mireille: Anges du paradis                                           E4581
85847-1    Le roi d'Ys: Vainement ma bien-aimée                                 E4601
85851-1    Pagliacci: Air des sanglots                                          E85851
85852-?    Mai                                                                  E4581
85857-1    Manon: Le rêve de Des Grieux                                         E4577
85858-2    Fumeur d'opium(with Yvonne Thibodeau)                                E4577
85859-1    Minuit, Chrétiens                                                    E4596
85870-?    Le crucifix (with Joseph Saucier)                                    E4585
85884-1    Faust: Trio final (with Joseph Saucier  & Yvonne Thibodeau)          E85884
New York, September 1920
86589-3    Mignonne, pourquoi pleurer                                           E4939
86594-2    Werther: Pourquoi me réveiller                                       E4940
86603-2    Il est né le divin enfant nous                                       E4893
           with Guillaume Dupuis, Blanche Gonthier & Madeleine Cardinal     
86604-2    Ça bergers, assemblons-nous                                          E4893
           with Guillaume Dupuis, Blanche Gonthier & Madeleine Cardinal
86612-1    L'amour chante                                                       E4948
86624-2    Le Cid: Priére                                                       E4941
86629-3    Carmen: La fleur                                                     E4944
86630-1    Le trouvère: Miserere                                                E4944
86631-2    Chant de la victoire                                                 E4952
86632-3    La berceuse des nuits                                                E4951
86633-1    Marche pour le printemps                                             E4958
           with Guillaume Dupuis, Blanche Gonthier & Madeleine Cardinal 
?          Berceuse aux étoiles (with Blanche Gonthier)                         E4951

New York  November 1922
88839-1    J'ai pleuré en rêve                                                  E7879
88845-3    Carmela                                                              E7942
88846-1    Dieu vous créa si jolie                                              E7849
88850-2    Mon ame avait rêvé                                                   E7849
88854-2    Obstination                                                          E7879
88856-2    Serenata (Toselli)                                                   E7942

Brunswick Records, Chicago April 1928 (With Mme Alba  Lariviere)
PB 434-35  Ô ma bien aimée                                                      Br52015, Me M18039
Pb 436-37  Sur le lac d'argent                                                  Br52016, Me M180040 
I wish to thank Christian Torrent for the recordings, picture, labels, discography and link.

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