OP3150. MIREILLE, Broadcast Performance, 9 July, 1948, w.Gressier Cond. Radio-Lyrique Ensemble; Martha Angelici, Charles Richard, Michel Dens, Lucien Lovano, etc.; MIREILLE (1904 Version) - Excerpts, w.Gauley, Micheletti, Pernet, ben Sedira, Crabbé, Féraldy, Villabella, Rambaud & Barrientos. (France) 2-Malibran 522. - 3760003775226
"Martha Angelici was a French operatic soprano of Corsican origin, particularly associated with the French lyric repertoire. While still very young she moved with her family to Belgium, where she studied voice in Brussels with Alfred Mahy. She began singing for the Belgian, Dutch and Luxemburg radio in 1933, and gave her first public concert at the Kurzaal of Ostend in 1934. Her first stage performance was in Marseille, as Mimi in La Bohème, in 1936. She made her début at the Opéra-Comique in 1938, where she had a long and successful career, and made her début at the Palais Garnier in 1953, as Micaëla in Carmen, other notable roles included Leila, Pamina, Nedda, etc. She made a few guest appearances at the Monte Carlo Opera and La Monnaie in Brussels. She was also much admired in French baroque music notably in Rameau's Les Indes Galantes, and was much loved as a concert singer, especially of Corsican songs. She was married to the director of the Opéra-Comique, François Agostini."
-Zillah Dorset Akron
“The child of American parents, Charles Richard grew up in England and after brief voice training began singing in France. He then turned to operetta and eventually moved into opera at the end of the 1930's. He appeared in various houses in the French provinces, sang from 1943 to 1945 at the Opéra in Marseille and in 1945 was invited to the Opéra-Comique in Paris, where his début was as des Grieux in Massenet's MANON. He remained one of the leading tenors in the house until 1956, specializing in the French and Italian repertoire including Vincent in MIREILLE, Wilhelm Meister in MIGNON, Gérald in LAKMÉ, Jean in LE JONGLEUR DE NOTRE DAME, Alfredo in LA TRAVIATA, Rodolfo in LA BOHÈME, Pinkerton, Cavaradossi, and the title rôle in WERTHER. He continued to make guest appearances, including the Opéra at Monte Carlo in 1947 (as Nicias in Massenet's THAÏS), in 1950-51 at the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels, and also in the major houses in the French provinces. He frequently took part in opera productions on French radio.”
- Ashot Arkelyan
“Michel Dens ranks with Robert Merrill and Pavel Lisitsian as one of the great lyric baritones of the period after the Second World War. Born in Roubaix, he studied the violin as a boy and planned to go into the textile business, but was urged to take his singing seriously, studied at the local Conservatoire and made his début in 1934 at Lille as Wagner in FAUST. After learning his craft in such cities as Bordeaux, Grenoble, Toulouse, Marseille and Monte Carlo, he arrived in 1947 at both the Opéra and the Opéra-Comique in Paris. As a guest artist he sang at many opera houses in France, Belgium, Switzerland, Canada and North Africa. Gifted with a high-lying voice of great beauty and flexibility, he was equally at home in the French repertoire and in such Italian rôles as Rigoletto and Figaro. He was also a wonderful singer of both French and Viennese operetta, and could even handle Tauber’s rôles in Lehár’s works convincingly. Dens had a long career and was still singing well at the age of eighty. Fortunately he made a vast quantity of recordings.”
- Tully Potter