OP0248. LAKMÉ, recorded 1971, w.Lombard Cond. l’Opéra-Comique Ensemble; Mady Mesplé, Charles Burles, Roger Soyer, etc. (E.U.) 2-EMI 67742, Slipcase Edition, incl. 180pp. Elaborate Libretto-Brochure. Final copy! - 724356774223
“Though it may not be the most profound piece of music you'll ever experience, this recording of LAKMÉ with Mady Mesplé does exactly what it sets out to do: it casts a spell of enchantment, gracefulness, and very French charm. Mesplé is THE Lakmé of her generation, a real storyteller and with effortless vocal technique to deliver an effortless, effervescent performance. Highly recommended!”
- John S. Favretto
“Mady Mesplé is a fine French lyric coloratura soprano who was active from the late 1950s through the 1980s. Her operatic career was centered on the core coloratura roles, including Verdi's RIGOLETTO, Offenbach's TALES OF HOFFMANN, Rossini's THE BARBER OF SEVILLE, Donizetti's LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR, and Mozart's THE MAGIC FLUTE, but she is best remembered for the title role in Delibes' LAKMÉ. Many consider her EMI recording of that signature role to be definitive. She also excelled in performances of new works, and as a recitalist.
Mesplé's discography is split fairly equally between French operetta (especially Offenbach), opera, and recital literature. Her LAKMÉ eclipses her other operatic recordings in recognition and popularity...."
- Allen Schrott, allmusic.com
“Charles Burles studied with Léon Cazauran and made his début at Toulon in 1958 in BARBIERE. He recorded LA BOHEME with Hélène Piroir and Valère Blouse. In 1963 he was engaged by Louis Ducreux for the Marseille Opéra where he sang all the light tenor roles. But it was in 1968 in the revival of LA JUIVE in Toulon in the role of Léopold, with Tony Poncet that his career really took off. In 1969 he sang his first JONGLEUR DE NOTRE-DAME. The critical response was unanimous. P. Bessand Massenet, the grandson of the composer declared ‘I believe that Massenet would have approved of the interpreter…no other artist has interpreted the role in a more moving and impressive way than Charles Burles’. Jean Giraudeau called him to the Opéra-Comique in 1969. He made his début there in Rameau’s ZOROASTRE. In 1970 he created Claudel’s L’ANNONCE FAITES À MARIE with music by Renzo Rossellini, which he sang also in Turin and Venice….Bernard Gavotty declared; ‘C. Burles, the very high tenor vocalised his top notes with the virtuosity of an embroiderer’. He also took on LA DAME BLANCHE and SI J’ÉTAIS ROI, as well as BARBIERE. In 1973 the Ghent Opera invited him for the role of Arturo in I PURITANI with Maria Fleta, the granddaughter of Miguel Fleta. Respecting the pitch of the score he sang the high F in the third act. In 1977 Rolf Libermann cast him in Rameau’s PLATÉE. In addition he added ENTFÜHRUNG and Cimarosa’s MATRIMONIO SEGRETO to his repertoire. With equal success he sang in LES PÊCHEURS DE PERLES, often with his friend the baritone Pierre Le Hémonet, MIGNON, DON PASQUALE, L’ITALIANA, L'ASSEDIO DI CORINTO, IL COMTE ORY, MIREILLE, LES PALADINS, as well as LA BOHEME AND RIGOLETTO. He did not neglect to sing operettas either. From 1996 he sang and played comprimario roles. He made his farewell in 2006 in the role of Altoum in TURANDOT in Marseille. A fine craftsman with impreccable diction, elegance of vocal line, nuances and phrasing, master of high notes and a fine diminuendo, he left the memory of a generous tenor. A worthy successor to Miguel Villabella, he recorded LA BELLE HÉLÈNE, LAKMÉ, BARBIERE, WILLIAM TELL and numerous operettas.”
- Jacqueline Pongy