Obituary: Huguette Tourangeau Dies At 79

By Francisco Salazar

Mezzo-soprano Huguette Tourangeau has passed away.

The Canadian Mezzo, who won the Metropolitan National Council auditions in 1964, went on to have an international career after her successful debut as Mercédès in “Carmen” under Zubin Mehta, in 1964. From there she went on to perform leading roles, including “Carmen,” which she toured in North America in a total of 56 cities with the Metropolitan National Company.

In 1973, she made her formal Met debut as Nicklausse in “Les Contes d’Hoffmann” with Plácido Domingo. She would also go on to sing  Dorabella in “Così fan tutte,” Cherubino in “Le Nozze di Figaro,” and Parséïs in “Esclarmonde.”

Throughout her career, Tourangeau was well-known for her onstage and recording partnership with Dame Joan Sutherland and Richard Bonynge. Together they recorded “Maria Stuarda,” ‘Lucia di Lammermoor,” “Rigoletto,” “Esclarmonde,” “Norma,” and “Les Contes d’Hoffmann,” among others.

The mezzo was also renown for singing both lyric and dramatic mezzo roles such as Cherubino, Arsace in “Semiramide,” Charlotte in “Werther,” and Adalgisa in “Norma.”

In 1977, she became the first recipient of the “Canadian Music Council” artist of the year, and was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in July 1997.