OP0115. DON QUICHOTTE (Massenet) – Excerpts, recorded 1947, w. Gressier Cond. André Pernet, Solange Michel & Lucien Lovano. (France) Malibran 120. - 3760003771204
“André Pernet was a French bass-baritone who studied at the Paris Conservatory before making his operatic début in Massenet's HÉRODIADE at Nice, in 1921. He sang at the Paris Opéra beginning in 1928. He also performed in Amsterdam, Brussels, London and Monte Carlo. He is perhaps best remembered today for his role as the father in the 1939 film version of Gustave Charpentier's LOUISE, directed by Abel Gance and also featuring Grace Moore and Georges Thill. He was noted for singing the title parts in MEFISTOFELE, BORIS GODUNOV, DON GIOVANNI and DON QUICHOTTE. Among the operas in which he created roles during the premiere performances were LE MARCHAND DE VENISE (Hahn), OEDIPE (Enesco), MAXIMILIEN (Milhaud) and VERCINGÉTORIX (Canteloube). Pernet's smooth, elegant, well-produced voice can be heard on a number of recordings which he made between the two world wars.”
-Z. D. Akron
“One of most popular Carmens active in post-World War II France, Michel studied at the Paris Conservatoire before beginning her career as a concert and recital singer in the 1930s. She made her début at the Opéra-Comique in 1945, in the title role of Ambroise Thomas' MIGNON. She was soon established as an important mezzo-soprano at that company, as well as at the Paris Opéra; her plummy, contralto-ish timbre and crisp, witty delivery of text enlivened all of her specialties, which ranged from Carmen - undoubtedly her signature role, with more than 600 performances to her credit - to Charlotte in WERTHER, Dalila, Geneviève in PELLÉAS ET MÉLISANDE, Gluck's Orfeo and Marguerite in LA DAMNATION DE FAUST. The best-known of Michel's recordings is the 1950 EMI-Pathé CARMEN, in which spoken dialogue (rather than recitative) is delivered with incomparable panache by a superbly chosen cast, many of them Opéra-Comique veterans. Stylishly paced by André Cluytens and recorded at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, Michel's Carmen is sly, sexy and authoritative, testifying to her long association with Bizet's Gypsy.
Other Michel recordings included Ernest Bour's 1947 recording of L'ENFANT ET LES SORTILÈGES, in which she sang the roles of La Bergère and L'Ecureuil (The Squirrel); Louise's Mother in Jean Fournet's 1956 performance of LOUISE; and Geneviève in Désiré-Emile Ingelbrecht's 1962 PELLÉAS. In 1963, Michel created the role of the Maharani in the world premiere of Menotti's THE LAST SAVAGE at the Opéra-Comique. Although she was active principally in France, she appeared as a guest at Covent Garden, La Scala, Teatro San Carlo in Naples, Teatro Liceo in Barcelona, Royal Flemish Opera and Teatro Colón, among other theaters. She retired from singing in 1978.”
- OPERA NEWS, 7 Jan., 2011