Albert (Joseph) Cornellier. Baritone, teacher, born St-Rémi-de-Napierville, near Montreal, 28 Mar 1900, died 2000; premier prix, light opera, (Paris Cons). At five he sang in a church choir. After beginning law studies at the University of Montreal, he studied singing with Salvator Issaurel
, Arthur Laurendeau, and Jean Riddez
. In 1922 he gained special admission as a regular foreign student at the Paris Cons and studied there with Albert Carré. He was engaged as a lyric tenor by the Opéra-Comique, and made his debut 14 Jan 1927 as Beppe in I Pagliacci
. He lived in Paris until 1947, singing in Louise
, La Vida breve
, and Tristan und Isolde
, as well as in numerous premieres at the Opéra-Comique, notably of Messager's Béatrice
(1927), Lévadé's La Peau de chagrin
(1929), and Zandonai's Conchita
(1929). He taught, sang in churches, gave recitals in Paris and the provinces, studied with Simone Sorelli, and gained a certain renown as an interpreter of Fauré and Franck.
In 1947, singing by then as a baritone, Cornellier settled in Montreal and gave a recital in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel for the Ladies' Morning Musical Club. He taught 1948-64 at the École normale de musique, and was the director 1951-9 of the first vocal art class at the Faculty of Music of the University of Montreal. In 1964 he moved to San Francisco, where he was still teaching in the late 1970s. Cornellier sang Remendado in a recording of Carmen with the orchestra and chorus of the Opéra-Comique directed by Piero Coppola (Gramophone HMV G-L695/711, reissued on 3-RCA Camden CCL-100). His pupils have included Jules Bruyère, Yoland Guérard, Jean-Pierre Hurteau, Gérard Paradis, Joseph Rouleau, and Huguette Tourangeau.
Wolff, Stéphane. Un Demi-siècle d'Opéra-Comique (Paris 1953)
"M Albert Cornellier" Le Passetemps, Sep 1926
"Profil". Les Amis de la scene lyrique de Québec, winter 1981-82