Édouard LeBel, tenor (1865-1939)

Édouard LeBel, a tenor whose voice has been compared with that of Enrico Caruso, was born in what was then Canada East at Wotton, near Sherbrooke (Quebec) on December 11, 1865. As a young man he studied voice with celebrated music educators Achille Fortier and Guillaume Coutre. In about 1885, he became a soloist with the Montréal choir, the Montagnard, directed by his brother-in-law, Charles Labelle. He was later a soloist with several Montréal church choirs, including those of Gesù, Notre Dame and, for 30 years, Saint Jacques Cathedral (Marie-Reine-du-Monde). He was also appointed choirmaster at Saint Jacques in 1912. He was a frequent soloist with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and performed for the Montreal Philharmonic Society as well. In 1905 he sang the role of Abel in the premiere of Alexis Contant's Caïn. He was secretary of the Académie de musique de Québec for 24 years. His daughter Germaine, an accomplished soloist, was born in 1894.

LeBel is thought to have made about 40 recordings for Berliner/His Master's Voice/Victor, of which a number are listed in Roll Back the Years. Among these recordings is "L'Amour et le Médecin" [MP3 1,215 KB].


  • "LeBel, Édouard". Encyclopedia of music in Canada. Edited by Helmut Kallmann et al. 2nd ed. Toronto : University of Toronto Press, c1992. xxxii, 1524 p. AMICUS 12048560
  • Moogk, Edward B. Roll back the years : history of Canadian recorded sound and its legacy : genesis to 1930. Ottawa : National Library of Canada, 1975. xii, 443 p. AMICUS 80154. Also published in French under the title: En remontant les années : l'histoire et l'héritage de l'enregistrement sonore au Canada, des débuts à 1930
  • Sœurs de Sainte-Anne. Dictionnaire biographique des musiciens canadiens. Lachine, Québec : Mont-Sainte-Anne, 1935. 299, [3] p. AMICUS 8664525
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