Émile Gour

21 April 1893 near Montréal – 24 September 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, about January 1920
85836-1    L'amant jaloux (Grétry): Tandis que tout sommeille			E4601
85837-?    Mireille (Gounod): Anges du paradis					E4581
85847-1    Le roi d'Ys (Lalo): Vainement ma bien-aimée				E4601
85851-1    Pagliacci (Leoncavallo): Air des sanglots				E85851
85852-?    Mai (Hahn)								E4581
85857-1    Manon (Massenet): En fermant les yeux				E4577
85858-2    Fumeur d'opium (Helmer) (with Yvonne Thibodeau)			E4577
85859-1    Noël (Adam)								E4596
85870-?    Le crucifix (Faure) (with Joseph Saucier)				E4585
85884-1    Faust: Alerte! Alerte! (with Joseph Saucier  & Yvonne Thibodeau)	E85884
Columbia, New York, September 1920
59631-?	   Mireille (Gounod): Ô Magali (w. Blanche Gonthier)			E5207
59633-2	   Carmen (Bizet): Parle-moi de ma mère (w. Blanche Gonthier)		E5207
86589-3    Mignonne, pourquoi pleurer? (Lavallée-Smith)				E4939
86590-2	   Au clair de la lune (Lully) (w. Blanche Gonthier)			E4947
86594-2    Werther (Massenet): Pourquoi me réveiller				E4940
86603-2    Il est né le divin enfant (trad)					E4893
           (with Guillaume Dupuis, Blanche Gonthier & Madeleine Cardinal)
86604-2    Ça bergers, assemblons-nous (trad)					E4893
           (with Guillaume Dupuis, Blanche Gonthier & Madeleine Cardinal)
86612-1    L'amour chante (Dekerrigou) (with Madeleine Cardinal)		E4948
86624-2    Le Cid (Massenet): Ô souverain					E4941
86629-3    Carmen (Bizet): La fleur						E4944
86630-1    Il trovatore: Miserere                                               E4944
86631-2    Chant de la victoire (Larrieu)					E4952
86632-3    La berceuse des nuits (Vercolier)					E4951
86633-1    Marche pour le printemps (Larrieu)					E4958
           (with Guillaume Dupuis, Blanche Gonthier & Madeleine Cardinal)

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

Brunswick Records, Chicago, April 1928
PB 434-35  Ô ma bien aimée (Gounod) (with Alba Lariviere)			52015, Melotone M18039
Pb 436-37  Sur le lac d'argent (Faure) (with Alba Lariviere)			52016, Melotone M180040
Source: Discography of American Historical Recordings
I wish to thank Christian Torrent for the recordings, picture, labels and biography link.

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