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Catherine Elvira Chartier

Soprano and Viola Player


Musical training : Master's Degree in classical singing. I’ve been studying violin since the age of 6, which I’ve traded for the viola at age 12. I’ve been learning piano at the same timefrom 7 to 20 years old to finally focus on singing. I’ve begun my voice training at the age of 18 and completed a Master’s Degree in classical singing with Gail Desmarais at Université de Montréal. Music has always played a big part in my life as far as I can remember. Being born to a family of musicians, music truly runs through my blood.

Other instruments played : Piano.

Musical projects apart from Liva : Classical performances as a soloist (operas, oratorios, recitals), duet with Pier Carlo, Choeur de chambre du Québec, trio and strings quartet. Listen to excerpts.

Musical influences : My voice teacher and mentor Gail Desmarais, of course. I also thoroughly enjoy music from the Mid-East. I’m always impressed by the melismas of Rai singers and by the playing of violinists, carried away by uplifting percussion rhythms.

Favourite bands, musicians or composers : Opeth, Megadeth, Queensrÿche, The Cure, The Police, Sting, Peter Gabriel, David Bowie, Elly Ameling, Renée Flemming, Bryn Terfel, Dietrich Fisher-Diskau, Stéphane Grappelli, Helmut Lipsky, Renaud Garcia-Fons, Djivan Gasparian, Francis Poulenc.

The first album I’ve bought : I believe it was Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. One thing is for sure: it was classical music.

5 favourite albums : Sehnsucht (Rammstein), Damnation (Opeth), Dream of the Blue Turtle (Sting), Synchronicity (The Police), Operation Mindcrime (Queensrÿche), Alina (Arvo Pärt), Disintegration (The Cure)... That’s more than 5, I know, but there are a few ties here...

Favourite songs from Liva : Agnus dei, Sic mors vitam, Luge penam, The Last word, Come In, Winter Days, The Indian Serenade

Pre-show routine : Nothing special. I don’t have a particular routine or superstition. The only thing I do need is to share a group hug with the band before we hit the stage.

A venue where I would love to perform : Somewhere grandiose.

Worst nightmare on stage : Our show at Montreal’s Foufounes Électriques on April 17th, 2004. Pier Carlo and I were both suffering from a bronchitis/laryngitis with a box of tissues resting on the bass drum. I was roughly 2 months pregnant at the time and I could feel the vibrations coming from the subwoofers under the scene into my boot heels, which was far from being a pleasant feeling. At one point, Pier Carlo experienced some trouble with his amplifier so we had to perform a drum, bass and viola solo. And to top it all off, technicians were tearing the stage apart right under our feet at the end of the show. And what’s worse is that this is far from being my only nightmarish tale.

Most memorable concert/ Best memory on stage : Opening for Nightwish at Montreal’s Medley on September 6th, 2003.