OP1891. MADAMA BUTTERFLY (in French), Broadcast Performance, 1959, w.Gressier Cond. Radio-Lyrique Ensemble; Lyne Cumia, Albert Lance, Gabriel Bacquier, etc. (France) 2-Malibran 715. - 7600003777126
“The Australian tenor Albert Lance was lucky enough to be the right man at the right place at the right time. He happened to be in Paris in the mid 1950s furthering his vocal training when the Paris Opéra needed a new principal tenor following the retirement of the legendary Georges Thill, who had been France’s ‘national’ tenor for many years. Lance’s voice was so suited to the French repertoire that he became the principal tenor at both the Opéra-Comique and the Palais Garnier and replaced Thill as the leading French tenor for the next two decades….[He was] chosen to sing in the most prestigious events, one of which happened to be Maria Callas’ Paris début in a Gala for the Légion d’Honneur in 1958.”
- Tony Locantro, THE RECORD COLLECTOR, 2015
“[Lance's voice] was firm and strong…He possessed a voice of a very bright acceptable timbre, and technically he is able to maintain an excellent legato, sing long-breathed phrases and produce stunning high B flats and secure ringing top Cs…”
- Alan Bilgora, THE RECORD COLLECTOR, 2013
“Albert Lance was an Australian tenor who also enjoyed French citizenship. He was Australia's principal tenor during the 1950s and later enjoyed a highly successful career in France. He was born in Menindee, South Australia as Lancelot Albert Ingram, but was usually known as Lance Ingram. After an audition at the Melbourne Opera, he was immediately offered a contract. He made his début there, as Cavaradossi in TOSCA, in 1950, and went on to sing Rodolfo in LA BOHÈME, and Pinkerton in MADAMA BUTTERFLY, to considerable acclaim.
Having changed his professional name from Lance Ingram to Albert Lance, he made his Paris début at the Opéra-Comique in 1955, as Cavaradossi. The following year, he made his début at the Palais Garnier, in the title role in FAUST, and the success was immediate. He quickly established himself as one of the leading ‘French' tenors of the time, at both the Opéra-Comique and the Opéra until 1972, singing the great French roles such as Roméo, des Grieux in MANON, Werther, Don José, etc. He was also invited to perform at the opera houses of Lyon, Bordeaux, and Marseille, as well as London, Vienna, Moscow, Leningrad, and Buenos Aires. Lance was also much appreciated in the Italian repertory, adding to his repertory the lead tenor roles in RIGOLETTO, LA TRAVIATA, CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA, PAGLIACCI and others.
Lance made his American début at the San Francisco Opera in 1961, in the creation of Norman Dello Joio's BLOOD MOON. He also appeared in Los Angeles and Philadelphia. Lance became a permanent member of the Opéra national du Rhin in Strasbourg from 1973 until his retirement in 1977. After his retirement from the stage, Lance turned to full-time teaching, first at the Music Conservatory of Nice, and later Antibes. Lance became a French citizen in 1967.
Lance left a few recordings, notably a complete WERTHER made in 1964, with Rita Gorr, Mady Mesplé, Gabriel Bacquier, conducted by Jésus Etcheverry. There is also a complete MADAMA BUTTERFLY (in French) from the Opéra Comique de Paris conducted Albert Wolff from 1957 with Lance as Pinkerton, and scenes from HÉRODIADE conducted by Georges Prêtre from 1963 with Lance as Jean alongside the Salomé of Régine Crespin and Hérodiade of Rita Gorr.
EMI has published the kinescope of the 1958 Paris debut of Maria Callas, ‘La Grande Nuit de l'Opéra’, in which Lance appeared, on DVD. He is heard in an excerpt from IL TROVATORE, and is seen in a staged Act II of TOSCA, opposite Callas and Tito Gobbi, conducted by Georges Sébastian. In March 2011, the French opera community announced that Lance would be the first Australian to be the President of the Paris Opera Jubilee.”
- Zillah Dorset Akron
"Gabriel Bacquier was one of the major singing actors of the second half of the 20th century, an urbanely menacing Scarpia, an amusing Leporello, a superlative Verdi baritone, and excellent Mozartean. The original recital shows us the baritone in peak form. The French selections would be difficult to better today."
- Joel Kasow, FANFARE, May/June, 2005