Comte, Gustave

Gustave Comte. Critic, teacher, librettist, b Montreal 30 Mar 1874, d there 14 Feb 1932. He abandoned his legal studies to devote himself to music and theatre journalism, and wrote for several dailies in Montreal (La Patrie, La Presse, Le Canada) and Ottawa (Le Temps). He was one of the first regular contributors to Passe-Temps, for which he wrote many articles and a regular column 'L'Art et les artistes'. He also wrote articles in such magazines as Le Samedi, La Quinzaine musicale, and La Revue moderne. He began teaching music history at the Conservatoire national of Montreal in 1905, but it is not known how long he continued. In 1927 he was appointed secretary of the Montreal Tramways Commission. Comte's writings are a valuable source of information on the musicians and musical activity of Montreal from the end of the last century to the early 1930s. In many articles he was the champion of Canadian performers and composers, whom he considered unjustly ignored, and he actively encouraged the construction of halls and theatres which favoured music. He wrote some librettos for operettas, including the one for Sandwich by Émiliano Renaud. His first marriage, in 1900, was to Blanche Duquette, daughter of Jean-A. Duquette and niece of Calixa Lavallée.

Writings

'Calixa Lavallée - notes biographiques inédites sur le chantre de la nation,' P-T, 374, 24 Jul 1909

'La première troupe canadienne d'opéra et Calixa Lavallée,' Quinzaine musicale, 26 Dec 1931