Yvan Pedneault: Queen’s royal voice

Yvan Pedneault has for a long time been interpreting Queen’s repertoire. Twelve years, at least. However, he does not get tired. Thursday night, he stops at Nikitotek Square to present the new song that he has woven with the tubes of the British formation.

“It would be difficult to be tanner of such a range of success. Queen, it’s high caliber rock. There is everything in the band’s records, “says the singer, who pushed the note on We Are the Champions long before the film Bohemian Rhapsody brought the band of the late Freddie Mercury back to the fore.

Yvan was coming out of a music school when he tried his luck at the open auditions for Toronto’s We Will Rock You, which was being held in different cities across the country.

“I went there to gain experience, but I had no expectations. At the time, I spoke very bad English. ”

Four candidates stood out among the 3,000 who auditioned. Yvan Pedneault was in the lead pack. He went to Toronto for the final stage. When Brian May and Roger Taylor (two of Queen’s musicians) heard him sing, they knew they had found their Galileo, the project’s lead role.

“In an interview, Brian May said,” It’ll be easier to teach him to speak English than to find an anglophone who sings like him. ” Let’s say it gave me confidence. ”

It was in 2007. Yvan Pedneault had just set foot in a big machine. The show, which ran for two and a half years, was seen by over a million people. It was not his first professional experience, but it was the toughest.

“I had participated in the musical Rent before and had also been part of the show Un éternel hiver, written by Lynda Lemay and presented in Europe and Quebec. But it did not have the same magnitude. Suddenly, I became the lead of the biggest musical in Canada. I met my wife as part of this project. We had children together. Later, I also participated in the show Queen Extravaganza. I think I can say that Queen is a big part of my life. ”

Finds and favorites

To build his new lap, Yvan Pedneault has dug into the catalog of the group.

“I chose the songs together with my music director. I still made some finds in this rich repertoire. It is the work, for a singer, to go in all these records, but it is also quite sporty for the musicians who accompany. You can not allow yourself to be in the moon or lose focus when you play Queen. The songs are filled with small sand traps. The melody, for example, changes rhythm frequently. When I was working with Brian May and Roger Taylor, they explained to me that it was because they hated the rehearsal “, summarizes the one who was finalist on the show Voice in 2016.

On stage, he is accompanied by four musicians. No one disguises himself or the original group, says the singer.

Rhapsody performances – Queen’s classics are planned until 2020. Through the shows, Yvan plans to work on a second album. Already, a first extract (My friend, my brother), composed with Pascal Dufour, was launched during the summer season.

“Freddie Mercury has already said that a Queen show was not just live music, it was more of a theatrical performance. We go on stage with the idea of ​​giving a whole show. I want to learn how to make myself known with this show, because I know it piques curiosity. I want to use it as a business card. The challenge that I give myself is that the spectators have fun. If I still have juice left the scene after the last song, I did not reach my goal. ”

“I work with different collaborators, I’m moving towards a more rock sound, more current. ”


Five favorites by Yvan Pedneault


“This is the first one we think of, the essential of the repertoire. For many fans, it’s the biggest song in rock history. The melody and the lyrics are beautiful. It’s a masterpiece. ”


“This one is very rock, it’s not the kind of tunes that played a lot on the radio.”


“I love this song, despite its somewhat dramatic message. ”


“I discovered it recently. I do not do it in the show, but maybe I’ll interpret it in the future. The melody is a bit reminiscent of 1950s crooners, like Queen, of course. ”


“I like the rather acoustic dominance of this song. Originally Brian May sang it, he wrote it. ”

You want to go?

Yvan Pedneault
Rhapsody – The Queen classics

Thursday, August 22, 8 pm
Nikitotek Place>
Entrance: $ 28.50