Saucier was one of the most admired Canadian singers of his time. In concert and as a soloist in oratorio he brought a sense of style to singing that was disciplined and warm in sound. Although he seldom sang opera he enjoyed a success as the High Priest in Samson et Dalila in Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1923. He frequently was soloist with the Goulet Montreal Symphony Orchestra and is thought to be the first (ca 1904) French-Canadian musician to record on cylinder or disc in Canada. A list of his recordings is given in Roll Back the Years. Also, a typed discography, prepared in 1981 by Jean-Jacques Schira, has been deposited at the National Library of Canada (now Library and Archives Canada). Saucier can be heard on Great voices of Canada/Les grandes voix du Canada (Analekta AN2 7801-7803, 1993).
Saucier's wife, Octavie Turcotte, a niece and pupil of Dominique Ducharme, accompanied him on the piano in many of his recordings and in recital. Their son Jean, a neurologist, was also a violinist, and Jean's son Pierre was a critic 1956-60 with the Montreal daily La Patrie. An avenue in the north of Montreal has been named in honour of Joseph Saucier.
See also Marcel Saucier (his nephew).
Author Gilles Potvin
Valois, Marcel. 'Le chanteur Joseph Saucier,' Montreal La Presse, 12 Apr 1941
Turp, Richard. 'Grand tradition: Joseph Saucier 1869-1941,' Opera Canada, winter 1996
Links to Other Sites
The Virtual Gramophone
An extensive multimedia database that covers the history of recorded music in Canada. Search the site for musician biographies and notes about the early years of sound recording, online audio clips of recordings, podcasts on specific themes, videos, and more. From Library and Archives Canada.
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