OP3163. IL TROVATORE (in French), Broadcast Performance, 8 Oct., 1954, w.Gressier Cond. RTF Ensemble; Geneviève Moizan, Denise Scharley, Raphaël Romagnoni, Charles Cambon, Adrien Legros, Yvette Darras, etc. (France) 2-Malibran 785. - 7600003777850
“…the combined efforts of Geneviève Moizan, Denise Scharley, Charles Cambon and a well-disciplined professional chorus and orchestra makes this a very interesting discovery. A second hearing confirmed that LE TROUVÈRE is a genuine French opera by Verdi and one that is well worth knowing….both [Moizan and Scharley] were then in their thirties and at the height of their considerable powers….the 62-year-old Charles Cambon was coming to the end of his long and distinguished career having retired from the Paris Opéra in 1945….Adrien Legros…is a splendid Ferrando. The part of Manrico is sung by the tenor Raphael Romagnoni [who] was summoned to the Paris Opéra to make his début as Roméo on 12 January, 1947.…As heard here, his bright and clear voice contains just a little of his Italian heritage.”
- Robert Bunyard, THE RECORD COLLECTOR, 2016
“In 1856, Giuseppe Verdi accepted an invitation from the General Administrator of the Paris Théâtre de l'Opéra to prepare a French-language version of his wildly popular IL TROVATORE. For his efforts Verdi was paid an amount commensurate with the composition of an entirely new work. Verdi selected Emilien Pacini to author a French translation of Salvatore Cammarano’s original Italian libretto.
The successful premiere of Verdi’s LE TROUVÈRE took place at the Salle Le Péletier on 12 January, 1857. Fifty-five years later, a group of distinguished French artists recorded Verdi's LE TROUVÈRE for Pathé. This affords the listener the opportunity to hear Verdi's own adaptation of one of his great Italian operas for the French stage. Quite often translations of operas evoke the image of the proverbial ‘square peg in the round hole’, as the original rhythms and melodies are distorted in order to fit the new text. However, since Verdi worked directly with Pacini, the wedding of the music to the French text is natural and idiomatic. To be sure, this quintessential Italian opera takes on a different character when performed in French. It should also be noted that the music for LE TROUVÈRE is no mere carbon copy of IL TROVATORE. There are numerous small modifications to the vocal and orchestral lines. By far the most noticeable changes occur in the opera's final two acts. At the request of the Opéra's management, Verdi composed a ballet, to be performed after the Soldier's Chorus in Act III. Perhaps even more striking are the modifications to the opera's conclusion. In the original version, Manrico is whisked off to his execution immediately after the death of Leonora. Azucena awakens just in time to witness the death of Manrico and to then inform the horrified Count di Luna that the Troubadour was his brother. The entire episode lasts about fifty seconds. In LE TROUVÈRE, Verdi extends this sequence by some thirty bars that feature a reprise of the ‘Miserere’, as well as additional music for Azucena and Manrico."
“Raphaël Romagnoni, who in the course of a long career would become one of those 'essential tenors' who are regarded as 'pillars' of our Parisian opera houses, made his début at the Grand Théâtre in 1931 in CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA. His beautiful voice with its generous top notes lead to many engagements in the provinces and North Africa until World War II. In his first year at the Opéra, he sang Roméo, the Duke of Mantua, Mylio and Faust, a role that he performed with great success for several years. There followed the creations at the Palais Garnier of JEANNE d’ARC AU BUCHER in which he sang the rôle of Bishop Cauchon in all 93 performances with Claude Nollier and six times with Ingrid Bergman (Jeanne), and successively with Jean Vilar, Henry Doublier and Robert Vidalin (Frère Dominique). Later would come LES CONTES D'HOFFMANN in which he sang the title role and, at the end of his career, Spalanzani. He made his début at the Salle Favart in 1947 where he sang Don José, Des Grieux, Werther, Gérald, Hoffmann, Nadir, Pinkerton, Turiddu and Rodolfo in LA BOHEME and Alfredo in LA TRAVIATA. At the same time as his Parisian activities, he toured the big provincial towns and also abroad."
- Jean Ziegler
“Geneviève Moizan entered the Conservatoire de Paris in 1942, and upon graduation in 1946 she won first prize in the Saint Sulpice competition. She débuted at the Paris Opéra in 1949 as Marguérite in FAUST (with Noré and André Pernet), moving on to a vast repertoire. She often appeared in Monte Carlo, Geneva, Strasbourg, Brussels, Algiers, etc. It was, however, her collaboration with the ORTF which gained her the essential part of her national popularity for almost twenty-five years.
With its clear timbre, her lyric soprano was equally acclaimed in both dramatic and mezzo-soprano rôles: Werther, Sapho, Le Roi d'Ys, Mignon, Il Trovatore, etc.”
- Zilla D. Akron
“Denise Scharley was a French contralto who débuted at the Opéra-Comique on 29 November, 1942, in the role of Geneviève in PELLÉAS ET MÉLISANDE, and then at the Paris Opéra, 23 Nov., 1953, as Maddalena in RIGOLETTO. On 21 June, 1957, she created the role of the Prioress in Poulenc’s DIALOGUES DES CARMÉLITES. Denise Scharley occupied a place in the forefront of French singers. Two key roles, however, have particularly distinguished her: that of Madame de Croissy, First Prioress (DIALOGUES DES CARMÉLITES) and Mme Flora in Menotti’s THE MEDIUM. In 1951 she appeared as Carmen at the Monnaie in Brussels. She is particularly remembered for performances of SAMSON ET DALILA at the Palais Garnier in 1960. With Crespin and Gorr, she was one of the Norns in GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG, Fricka in DIE WALKÜRE and Erda in SIEGFRIED in 1958, under Knappertsbusch. In Weber’s OBERON she became Puck, under the baton of André Cluytens (1954), and young David, at the stage presentation of Arthur Honegger's KING DAVID in October 1960. In 1972, she again sang Madame de Croissy in the new production of DIALOGUES DES CARMÉLITES. In Geneva, she also had the opportunity to perform the Russian repertoire in PIQUE DAME and KHOVANSHCHINA.”
- Z. D. Akron
“…by 1930 Cambon was singing major rôles [at l’Opéra]. From that time until 1953 he was arguably the dominant French baritone of his time, singing all the larger Heldenbaritone rôles….He sang Oreste in the Paris première of ELEKTRA (1932) and was also in the Paris première of TURANDOT in 1928. In 1936 he sang in the première of Enescu’s OEDIPE.”
- VRCS 2008 Annual Issue liner notes