Colle, Josèphe

Josèphe Colle. Soprano, teacher, b Nancy, France, 24 Aug 1929, naturalized Canadian 1958; BA, psychology (Montreal) 1955; premier prix, analysis and musical aesthetics (Cons national, Paris) 1956. She enrolled at the CMM in 1953 where she studied with Father Émile Martin, Yvonne Hubert and Gilberte Martin. She also took voice lessons with 1953-4 with Martial Singher and 1954-5 and 1956-8 with Bernard Diamant. Also at the CMM, with the composer at the piano, she gave the premieres of François Morel'sQuatre Chants japonais in 1954 and Les Rivages perdus in 1955. She went to Paris on two occasions, studying analysis and musical aesthetics 1955-6 with Olivier Messiaen and choral conducting 1958-9, again with Father Martin. During the second visit she sang under the pseudonym Florence Hébert and the critics praised her 'pure voice... of rare beauty' (Paris La Croix, 25 Mar 1959).

In Montreal, after attending Ruzena Herlinger's singing classes 1961-2, Colle was co-founder in 1963 with George Morgan and Fernande Chiocchio, and director 1963-8, of the Trio vocal de Montréal. The trio gave the premiere of Gabriel Charpentier'sJamais and Gilles Tremblay'sKékoba (RCI 240/6-ACM 12). Co-founder in 1965, with Maryvonne Kendergi, of the Group rencontres musicales, she served as director of the group until 1968 and took part in the premieres of a number of Canadian works, including Serge Garant'sCage d'oiseau in 1967. After teaching dictation and solfège 1965-8 at the CMM she was engaged to assist 1968-73 in the reorganization of the Tunis Cons, and took advantage of her stay in Tunisia to study the lute. She returned to Canada and taught 1973-5 at UQAM,.1974-8 at the Cons de Trois-Rivières, and 1979-80 at the CMM. She began teaching analysis and musical idioms at the Cons de Hull in 1981. Josèphe Colle became known to CBC listeners both as a singer and, after 1961, as the hostess and commentator.