OP3000. LA CRÉOLE, recorded 1961, w.Cariven Cond. Claudine Collart, Lina Dachary, Aimé Doniat, Joseph Peyron, Bernard Demigny, etc.; LE 66, Broadcast Performance, 25 Aug., 1958, w.Cariven Cond. Claudine Collart, René Lenoty & Camille Maurane (both Offenbach). (France) 2-Malibran 770. - 7600003777706
“LA CRÉOLE is an opéra comique in three acts of 1875 with music by Jacques Offenbach. The French libretto was by Albert Millaud, with additional material by Henri Meilhac. It was one of three full-length stage works written almost simultaneously that year, the others being LA BOULANGÈRE A DES ÉCUS and LE VOYAGE DANS LA LUNE.
LA CRÉOLE was premiered at the Théâtre des Bouffes Parisiens, Salle Choiseul in Paris. The costumes were designed by Alfred Grévin. The work was also performed in German in Vienna and Berlin in 1876 (as DIE CREOLIN), in Polish in Lemberg the same year, in London and Brussels in 1877, and in Spanish in Mexico in 1885. Adapted as THE COMMODORE as a vehicle for Violet Cameron, the piece was seen in London and New York in 1886. This is the revised version performed at the revival, Théâtre Marigny, starring Josephine Baker in the title role, produced on 17 December 1934, with the libretto revamped by Albert Willemetz and some changes to the music.
The plot initially set in 1685 in Guadeloupe is transported to Jamaica in 1843, and the book is completely rewritten. Characters are introduced: Jamaican ‘Crème Fouetée’ (Whipped Cream) and the marine Cartahut, both associated with a typical colonialist humor between the two world wars. All this would not matter if this change were to have enormous consequences in the musical order. The first act becomes the second and vice versa, but that's not all: in addition to the joyous disorder in which are found the pieces of the original score, it was thought proper to introduce two arias from other Offenbach works. In 1934, Dora was sung by Josephine Baker, obviously in a lighter voice. As for the leading man René de Feuilles Mortes, the composer had intended for a soprano in drag: here it obviously becomes a tenor.”
- Laurent Bury , forumopera.com, 23 Dec., 2014
“LE 66 is an opérette in one act of 1856 with music by Jacques Offenbach. The French libretto was by Pittaud de Forges and Laurencin (Paul Aimé Chapelle).
The premiere was at the Théâtre des Bouffes Parisiens (Salle Lacaze) Paris, on 31 July 1856, one of nine one-acters produced by the Bouffes Parisiens that year. LE 66 remained in the Bouffes Parisiens repertoire, and was played by them in Vienna in 1862. It had already been seen at the Carltheater in that city in 1859, was produced in Budapest in 1860, and mounted in London in 1865 and 1876. It was revived in Paris in 1984 at the Studio Bertrand alongside Pépito. Contemporary critics particularly admired in the score the romance and tyrolienne and the entry song of the colporteur.”
- Ned Ludd
“When Aimé Doniat left the Conservatoire (with a first Bassoon Prize), he was engaged in an orchestra. After only three months, and having made the acquaintance of a small traveling troupe, he was hired to accompany it during its tour in Algeria, and then joined with it in Marseilles. From there, he joined the National Radio. The Radio Orchestra and its chorus returned to Paris in March 1943. Doniat became a soloist and was frequently called upon to replace singers in lyrical performances on various Parisian and provincial scenes. As early as 1944, he decided to take a big risk and became soloist for the various radio programs: operettas, comic operas. His new activity also led him to participate in several casts in various operettas performed in concert halls.
Doniat worked extensively for Véga, Decca, RCA, Erato, Saphir, Le Chant du Monde, Musidisc, EMI, Pathé, Vox, Visadisc, Philips and recorded over 160 LPs. After the disappearance of the LP, more than fifty reissues were released before the end of the twentieth century, in discs, cassettes and compact discs. He won 10 Grands Prix du Disque. He sang Delmet, Botrel, Scotto, and many others. He resurrected medieval songs and French provinces. He wrote lyrics on ancient mélodies he loved to discover. He translated into French the booklets of a few German-language operettas.
Beside his recordings, Aimé Doniat remained one of the essential pillars of the Lyric Service of the RTF, then of the ORTF. For many years, before the taste of the French public for classic lyric art faded, he recorded a dozen operettas a month (which left very little time for rehearsals) with Jany Sylvaire and Lina Dachary, his most faithful female partners, and under the direction in particular of Jules Gressier and Marcel Cariven. The number of these recordings was reduced to two per month during the last ten years of its life, as broadcasting programs had shrunk considerably on national radio. They were heard more on the Belgian and Swiss radio channels. Doniat taught singing for a long time on a private basis, for a few selected pupils, ultimately teaching at Versailles.”