Laferrière, Marie

Marie (Cécile Hélène) Laferrière. Mezzo-soprano, b St-Barthélemy, Que, 21 May 1949; B MUS (Montreal) 1970, M MUS (Sherbrooke) 1972. At the École Vincent-d'Indy 1966-72 she studied with Louise André and Bernard Diamant, and at the Salzburg Mozarteum in 1971 she was coached by the pianist Erik Werba. She won the Prix d'Europe in 1972 and resumed study with Werba at the Vienna Academy of Music 1972-3, as well as with Bernard Turgeon at the Banff SFA (summers of 1972, 1973). She was a pupil of Léopold Simoneau in San Francisco 1974-6 and placed first in auditions held by that city's opera company. At the Accademia Chigiana of Siena she worked in 1975 with the coach Giorgio Favaretto. She won a number of prizes, including a bronze medal and a special prize for performance at the 1975 Geneva International Competition for Musical Performers, a second prize that same year at the Competition of 's Hertogenbosch in Holland, and a prize in 1979 from the Concert Artists Guild of New York. The Guild prize entitled her to a performance at Carnegie Recital Hall 27 Nov 1979. Raymond Ericson said of her on that occasion: 'The mezzo's direct expressiveness was a constant pleasure, particularly because she understood the nature of the music she was singing, its relationship to the texts and its various stylistic demands. Her voice was attractive, steady, slightly cool in timbre. It moved cleanly and was always on pitch' (New York Times, 2 Dec 1979). Marie Laferrière has given numerous recitals in Canada, Europe, and the USA. She has performed frequently on the CBC in recital and she participated in the premiere of Garant's...chant d'amours in 1975. She sang in the San Francisco Opera's 1975 production of Donizetti's Viva la Mamma. In 1982 she took part in the Victoria International Festival with Canada Opera Piccola in Milhaud's Le Pauvre matelot. In 1984 she toured Quebec singing Fidalma in the Ensemble cantabile de Montréal production of Cimarosa's Il Matrimonio Segreto. She also was a cast member in Opéra de Montréal's 1986 production of The Magic Flute. Between 1985 and 1989, she participated in various performances of Vivier'sKopernikus, produced by the Événements du neuf. She began teaching at the École Vincent-d'Indy in 1983. In 1976 she married the US tenor David Doane.