Thomas: Mignon (Metropolitan Opera) by Wilfrid Pelletier on Apple Music

43 Songs

TITLE TIME
8:09
3:42
4:32
3:33
4:58
1:49
2:26
2:31
4:57
1:46
2:53
2:47
3:41
4:17
2:05
3:56
5:45
4:09
2:37
1:43
2:41
2:10
1:23
4:16
1:42
2:57
1:32
4:49
4:01
2:34
3:47
3:26
4:12
2:34
2:11
2:55
2:03
3:13
2:43
0:54
3:02
3:29
3:15

About Wilfrid Pelletier

Opera and symphony conductor Wilfred Pelletier received his first lessons in piano, composition, and harmony from his father, a professional musician. So obvious were his talents that he was made an assistant conductor at the Montreal Opera when he was only 17. At 20, he won the Quebec Prix d'Europe and was sent off to Paris to undertake studies with Charles-Marie Widor, Isidor Philipp, and critic Camille Bellaigue. When he returned to North America in 1917, it was with a recommendation from Pierre Monteux that the Metropolitan Opera hire him as a coach. Pelletier was thus engaged as an assistant conductor and promptly assigned preparation of Samson et Dalila with Margarete Matzenauer and Enrico Caruso. He remained at the Metropolitan Opera for 28 seasons, initially coaching such luminaries as Lucrezia Bori, Geraldine Farrar, Beniamino Gigli, Grace Moore, and Lily Pons. Another young artist who came under his guidance, Rose Bampton, eventually became his wife.

The careful work he provided in his coaching of singers made them comfortable with his direction and led to increasingly important assignments. In 1932, Pelletier was promoted to full conductor at the house and began leading many performances, primarily in the French and Italian repertories. The reaction of critics varied from mild approval to concerns about routine, although Il barbiere di Siviglia in March 1945 prompted Virgil Thomson to describe Pelletier's conducting as "vague, careless, sloppy, and slow." During his tenure at the Met, Pelletier led two premieres, Deems Taylor's The King's Henchmen and Walter Damrosch's Man Without a Country, his conducting arousing neither great enthusiasm nor outright censure. Pelletier did not seem to possess the gift for galvanizing a disparate or indifferent cast.

During his years at the Metropolitan Opera, Pelletier pursued other musical interests as well. He conducted for the Scotti Opera, the noted baritone's touring company whose road trips consisted of mostly one-night engagements. He became music director of the Concerts Symphoniques of Montreal in 1935, introducing a series of concerts for young people (he also led children's programs for the New York Philharmonic). Pelletier also established the Montreal Bach Festival during this time. Radio beckoned, first in the form of the "Simmons Hour," later with the "Firestone Program," the "Packard Hour," and the "Metropolitan Opera Auditions of the Air." He also led Kirsten Flagstad in the widely publicized motion picture The Big Broadcast of 1938, making himself still more of a household name.

Pelletier resigned from the Montreal Symphony in 1940 to co-found the Conservatoire de Musique de Quebec a Montreal, serving as director until 1961. From 1951 to 1966, he was artistic director of the Quebec Symphony Orchestra and served the Quebec Ministry of Culture from 1961 to 1970 as music administrator. Among the many honors accorded Pelletier were the Chevalier d'Honneur and the Companion of the Order of Canada. He was recognized as well in 1966 when Montreal named the great hall at its Place des Arts the "Salle Wilfred Pelletier."

Top Songs

Top Albums