Doctorate in performance student
Instrument: classical singing
Country of origin: France (Limoges)
Arrival at the Faculty of Music: autumn 2017
- Could you talk to us about your background?
I grew up in a family of musicians: my father is a keyboardist and conductor, and my mother's a singer. I arrived at the Faculty of Music to do a master’s in performance in classical singing, after spending a year at the Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse in Paris. My fiancée, Lila Duffy, was studying in this program, and I took advantage of a visit to Québec to audition.
- What do you like most about the Faculty of Music? Is there a teacher in particular who’s been a source of inspiration for you?
One of the decisive elements in my coming here was the presence of Richard Margison, a great Canadian tenor who’s sung on the world’s most prestigious stages. A considerable number of people are important to me, and the faculty and its teachers have supported me a lot. I’ve learned to be aware of my abilities, and to become at the same time more confident and more sympathetic towards myself.
The Atelier d’opéra productions rank with the highpoints of the year, and sometimes of our lives! They’re an absolutely unique blend of excitement and stress.
- How has your stay at the Faculty of Music influenced your life?
I immediately developed an attachment for life in Montréal and for its music scene. I have to say that rarely have I had so many opportunities to prove myself, whether through the experiences at the Faculty or outside it. It’s allowed me to step back with regard to my past musical and personal experiences. In a short period of time I sensed the possibility of developing a stimulating professional network. Also, I’ve radically modified my way of singing and I’ve achieved goals that to me seemed out of reach.
- How will you remember the Faculty of Music when your studies are over? Is there a vivid memory or an anecdote that comes to mind?
I’ll remember the Faculty of Music like a big, wonderful family, made up of extraordinary friendships and moments of artistic grace. There’s an excitement around projects and a truly distinctive solidarity at the difficult moments.
In another vein, I won’t forget our late Anne-Marie Trahan, whose scholarship I held for two years and who was a lot more than a donor. She was a godmother for Lila and me as well as for all the young singers lucky enough to know her. She was one of those personalities who mark a life: simplicity, a fount of knowledge, an infectious laugh and great familiarity with the arts.
- Which aspects of life in Montréal and of Québec culture do you particularly enjoy?
I’m not someone who loves urban living too much, I was raised in the country. Nevertheless, I never tire of walking around Montréal, which is so varied, so surprising. I like the food smells and the way of welcoming the seasons as much as the artistic life. I realized very quickly that I miss Québec when I’m not there. The last thing I fell in love with: the music of composer Jacques Hétu, which deserved being much more celebrated than it is!
- What advice would you give to a first-year student?
Listen only to constructive opinions, positive or negative. Be curious about everything, persevering, and, above all, show that you want to get there by being proactive and voluntary, but also by not hesitating to ask for help. Don’t forget that a bad day or a bad performance isn’t the end of the world. It’s even pretty much inevitable! And be kindly at all times: it’s important for yourself as much as for others.
- What would you like to say to students who are thinking of coming to continue their education at the Faculty of Music?
If you think it’s time to change institutions and teachers (which is normal, healthy and has to happen sooner or later), to approach your work differently or be part of important projects, then don’t hesitate! You’ll have experiences here and meet people that you’ll never forget.