Joseph Quesnel

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Louis-Joseph-Marie Quesnel (born November 15, 1746 in Saint-Malo , † July 3, 1809 in Montreal ) was a Canadian composer, poet , writer and actor.

Quesnel graduated from the Collège Saint-Louis in his hometown and then visited Pondicherry in India, Madagascar, French Guinea, the West Indies and Brazil as a seaman on a three-year sea voyage. He then settled in Bordeaux as a business partner of his uncle Louis-Auguste Quesnel.

In 1779, as the captain of a sailing ship, he transported ammunition and goods for the rebels to America. He was attacked by the British off Nova Scotia and arrested in Halifax. On the intervention of the Governor of Quebec, Frederick Haldimand , he was released and allowed to settle in Canada.

He married the Canadian Marie-Josephte Deslandes in Montreal and ran a trade as an exporter of furs to France and an importer of wine to Canada. He also worked as a musician and poet. His two " prose comedies mixed with arietas " Colas et Colinette and Lucas et Cécile are considered to be the first opera compositions written in Canada. He continued to compose songs, duos, quartets, motets and symphonies, but these have been lost. He also wrote several dramas and poems. Some of his poems were republished in Jules Fournier's Anthologie des poètes canadiens 1920.

Of his thirteen children, Frédéric-Auguste Quesnel became known as a politician and Jules-Maurice Quesnel as an explorer. His grandson Charles-Joseph Coursol was mayor of Montreal.

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