Martel, Jacqueline

Jacqueline Martel. Soprano, b Quebec City 6 Aug 1940. She began piano studies in 1946 at the Mallet convent in Quebec City and continued in 1952 at the CMQ. In 1955 she began voice lessons there with Ria Lenssens. She won the Prix Archambault in 1957 and continued her training 1959-61 at the CMM with Dina Maria Narici and (on a 1960 Prix d'Europe) 1961-4 in Rome with Maria-Teresa Pediconi at the Santa Cecilia Cons and with the pianist-accompanist Giorgio Favaretto at the Accademia Santa Cecilia. She also has worked under Luigi Ricci. She has received several first prizes and honours, including a diploma of distinction from the Accademia Chigiana in Siena.

Martel made her debut in Rome in 1963 as Laetitia in Menotti's The Old Maid and the Thief. Until 1967 she pursued her career mainly in Italy, France, and Switzerland, but she did visit Montreal, Toronto, and Quebec City, notably for the Théâtre lyrique de Nouvelle-France to sing leading roles in The Barber of Seville (1963), Les Pêcheurs de perles (1964, 1969), Mireille (1965), and La Bohème (1967). In the Gazette (19 Feb 1963), Montreal critic Thomas Archer declared himself seduced by her 'light Latin way' with the role of Rosina and delighted by her brilliant qualities as an actress. In 1965 Martel premiered in Rome two works by Virgilio Mortari and made several tours, including one with I Musici Antichi and another, 1965-6 in Italy, France, and Switzerland, with Favaretto. She sang the title role in Manon for the Théâtre lyrique du Québec in 1967 and toured for the JMC (YMC) in 1968 with the harpist Dorothy Weldon. She also has performed on radio and TV and with the Quebec Symphony Orchestra and the MSO. In 1974 she instituted the voice class at the Cons de Trois-Rivières, and in 1980 she began teaching at the CMQ.