OP1169. LES HUGUENOTS – Excerpts, recorded 1953, w.Jean Allain Cond. Pasdeloup Ensemble; Renée Doria, Jane Rinella, Simone Couderc, Guy Fouché, Adrien Legros, Charles Cambon & Henri Médus. (France) Malibran 581. - 3760003775813
“Renée Doria’s official operatic début took place in 1942, in Marseille, as Rosina in IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA. After singing Constance in THE ABDUCTION FROM THE SERAGLIO in Cannes under Reynaldo Hahn, and the three heroines (Olympia, Giulietta, Antonia) in LES CONTES D'HOFFMANN in Strasbourg, opposite baritone Vanni Marcoux, she made her Paris début at the Gaîté-Lyrique in 1943, as Lakmé, and the following year, made her début at the Opéra-Comique, in the same role. Her début at the Paris Opéra in 1947, as the Queen of the Night in THE MAGIC FLUTE, was highly successful. Other rôles at that house included Leila in LES PÊCHEURS DE PERLES, the title role in MIREILLE, Marguérite in FAUST, Juliette in ROMÉO ET JULIETTE, Ophélie in HAMLET, Manon, Thaïs, as well as Fiordiligi in COSÌ FAN TUTTE, Gilda in RIGOLETTO, and Violetta in LA TRAVIATA, etc.
Doria also sang in baroque music such as Rameau's LES INDES GALANTES, and contemporary works, such as Ravel's L'HEURE ESPAGNOLE, and Poulenc's DIALOGUES DES CARMÉLITES. In her thirty year career, Doria sang an estimated sixty roles.
Simone Couderc as member of the ensemble of the Paris Opéra sang the great mezzo-soprano rôles: Amneris, Dalila, Orfeo, Kundry, Carmen , Santuzza, etc. The composer Reynaldo Hahn took notice of her and advised studying for a career. Simone Couderc then enrolled at Rouen Conservatory in the class of tenor Henri Saint-Cricq. Upon graduating, she joined the National Conservatory of Music and Dance of Paris in the class of Ms. Cesbron-Viseur. At an audition, Tito Schipa asked her to sing with him the role of Charlotte in WERTHER, but it never came to fruition because of the outbreak of the war. During the 1944-1945 season she sang Charlotte, with José Luccioni and Margared in LE ROI D'YS with his former teacher, Saint-Cricq, at the Opéra de Nice.
Often compared to Ebe Stignani for the size and quality of her voice, Couderc sang at the Teatro Colón of Buenos Aires, Belgium, Athens, Algiers, etc. After her retirement in 1976, she devoted herself to teaching. She was married to critic and writer Stephen Wolff.
Making his début at the Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux in 1942 in LES PÊCHEURS DE PERLES, Fouché went on to sing at Toulouse, Marseille, Lyon, Lille, Nantes, Rennes , as well as continuing at Bordeaux from 1945-53. In 1953 he became first tenor at La Monnaie de Bruxelles.
In the firmament of model French singers, Charles Cambon figures amongst the greatest. Thanks to the good instincts of certain artistic directors, this voice of exceptional timbre, power and range has been preserved for us in all its splendour.
Charles Cambon joined the chorus at l’Opéra in 1923, amking his solo début a year later in a small role in BORIS GODUNOV. He would remain thrity years in this illustrious theatre, making an impression as Amonasro, Valentin, Ottokar in DER FREISCHÜTZ, as Sylvio in PAGLIACCI and as the Dutchman. He appeared only once at l’Opéra-Comique as a memorable Zurga in LES PÊCHEURS DE PERLES. But it was radio and records that brought him fame. True opera-lovers never missed the broadcasts in which he starred, admiring his diction, his fearlessness, his fabulous top notes but also his sensibility and his dramatic instincts in the greatest roles; Rigoletto, Luna in IL TROVATORE, Athanaël, Iago and of course Hamlet.
Charles Cambon died in Paris on 17 September,1965. He lives on, thanks to recordings, as one of the most admired baritones of the French vocal tradition.”
- Jean Ziegler