Vidor, Pierre

Pierre (b Russell) Vidor (b Trépanier). Tenor, choir conductor, policeman, b Louiseville, near Trois-Rivières, Que, 3 Sep 1907. He began to study trumpet but turned to singing, which he studied in Montreal with various teachers. He was soloist in CBC radio performances of Honegger's Le Roi David in 1941 and Pierné's The Children's Crusade the following year. In 1942 also he created the role of Joseph Quesnel in Eugène Lapierre's comic opera Le Père des amours. For the Opera Guild of Montreal he sang Monostatos in The Magic Flute in 1945 and for the Variétés lyriques he took the title role in Faust in 1948 and the Duke in Rigoletto in 1949. At the Montreal Festivals in 1946 he performed in Beethoven's Missa solemnis and on short notice replaced the tenor Hubert Norville as soloist in the Berlioz Requiem under Sir Thomas Beecham. The same year he gave a recital of Schubert's Winterreise at the Windsor Hotel. In 1950 he repeated Faust for the Montreal Festivals and sang the same role for the Opéra national du Québec. He sang other leading roles with the Opéra national du Québec and on the CBC, in particular for the program 'Le Théâtre lyrique Molson.'

At the same time Vidor pursued a career in the Montreal police force, which he joined in 1936, becoming a detective-sergeant in 1946, a lieutenant in 1951, and a captain in 1967. He retired that year and was in charge of security for Expo 67. In 1956 he founded a 40-voice men's choir - the Symphonie vocale des policiers de Montréal, which in 1969 became the Symphonie vocale des policiers de la Communauté urbaine de Montréal - and directed it in many public concerts as well as radio and TV performances. He was succeeded as conductor in 1971 by Jean Ratelle. In 1975 Vidor returned to Louiseville, where he continued to conduct a choir and involve himself in musical and social activities.