OP2888. LE ROI D'YS - Excerpts, recorded 1943, w.Inghelbrecht Cond. Germaine Cernay, Gaston Micheletti, Ginette Guillamat, Georges Ravoux, Lucien Lovano, etc. (France) Malibran 764. - 3845050087646
“Germaine Cernay was born Germaine Pointu in Le Havre, studied at the Paris Conservatory with Henri Albers and Émile Engel, making her début at the Opéra-Comique in 1927 in the Paris première of Alfano’s RESURREZIONE, opposite Mary Garden and René Maison. Her Salle Favart roles included Charlotte (WERTHER), Margared (LE ROI D’YS), Mignon, Suzuki (MADAMA BUTTERFLY), and Mallika (LAKMÉ). Outside of France she appeared in Belgium and Switzerland, as well as in North Africa. In 1942 she sang the role of Geneviève in the first complete recording of PELLÉAS ET MÉLISANDE under the baton of Roger Désormière. Cernay died prematurely a year later in Paris.”
- Vincent Giroud, Program Notes to Marston's FIREBIRDS OF PARIS
“Cernay made her début at the Opéra-Comique in Paris on 16 May 1927 as la Bossue in the Paris premiere of Alfano’s RISURREZIONE (in French). Other creations at the Salle Favart were Floriane in ÉROS VAINQUEUR (de Bréville), la Tour in LE FOU DE LA DAME (Delannoy), a fairy in RIQUET A LA HOUPPE (Hue), and Léonor in LE SICILIEN (Letorey). Her other principal roles at the Opéra-Comique included Sélysette (ARIANE ET BARBE-BLEUE), a sister (BÉATRICE), Gertrude (LE ROI DAGOBERT), la fantôme (LES CONTES D'HOFFMANN), Mallika (LAKMÉ), Javotte (MANON), title role in MIGNON, Souzouki (MADAMA BUTTERFLY), Vincenette/Taven (MIREILLE), Geneviève (PELLÉAS ET MÉLISANDE), Cléone (PÉNÉLOPE), Charlotte (WERTHER) and one of the voices in MASQUES ET BERGAMASQUES. She was invited to many provincial centres in France and also appeared in North Africa, Switzerland, Belgium, England, Ireland and Italy. Broadcasting on French radio allowed Cernay to enlarge her repertoire to roles in CARMEN, LE ROI D’YS, LE CHEMINEAU, LA DAMNATION DE FAUST, DON QUICHOTTE and LA LÉPREUSE. She also sang in the first performance of surviving fragments of Chabrier's VAUCOCHARD ET FILS on 22 April 1941 at the Salle du Conservatoire. Cernay was one of best-known concert altos of her generation and highly considered as a Bach interpreter. She appeared regularly with the Orchestre de la Societé des Concerts du Conservatoire from 1931 to 1942. Her first and last appearances with the orchestra were as alto soloist in the Bach MAGNIFICAT, and in 1936 she sang in two performances of the Mass in b minor. She retired in 1942 to become a nun. A year later she died of status epilepticus.
Gaston Micheletti was contracted to the Opéra-Comique, where his first rôle was Des Grieux. This opera house became the centre of his activities until his retirement in 1946. He sang in a wide range of rôles, including Don José, Turiddu, Hoffmann, Gérald, Pinkerton, Canio, Dimitri in Alfano’s Risurrezione, Mylio, Werther, Rodolfo, Cavaradossi and Roméo. He created numerous rôles in premieres of forgotten French operas. His career was largely restricted to French and Belgian opera houses. He is a lirico-spinto tenor of remarkable subtlety. The timbre of his voice is attractive, warm and velvety, with a slightly baritonal tinge.”
- Ned Ludd