OP3199. LA DANSEUSE DE TANAGRA, Broadcast Performance, 1956, w. Cloëz Cond. Berthe Monmart, Nadine Sautereau, Solange Michel, Robert Massard, Jean Mollien, Michel Hamel & Lucien Lovano; LES HIRONDELLES - Excerpts, Broadcast Performance, 4 Nov., 1963, w.Jean Doussard Cond. Huguette Boulangeot, Claude Bergeret, Lucien Huberty, Aimé Doniat, Joseph Peyron & René Lenoty (both Henri Hirchmann); MARYSE BEAUJON, w.Bigot Cond.: La Danseuse de Tanagra - Je dansais, oui, jadis; Oui, près de toi - recorded 1930. (France) 2-Malibran 799. - 7600003777997
“A popular writer and journalist, Champsaur was the inventor of the character of Lulu, who would be later taken up by Wedekind and Alban Berg. After HÉRODIADE, Massenet had composed several operas situated in classical antiquity….Hirchmann followed the long lasting fashion for antique eroticism. The [above] plot inspired in Hirchmann the sensuous, colorful kind of music one could expect from a good disciple of Massenet.”
– Christophe Ghristi
“Henri Hirchmann [or Henri Hirschmann; originally Henri Herblay] was a French composer who studied under André Gedalge, and, for two years, under Massenet at the Paris Conservatoire. His chief works are: AHASUERUS, an oratorio (crowned by the French Institute at the Concours Rossini, and performed at the concerts of the Paris Conservatoire Nov., 1892); a suite for orchestra in four parts (presented at the Opéra Jan., 1896); L'AMOUR À LA BASTILLE, comic opera (crowned at the Concours Crescent; performed at the Opéra Comique 1898); LOVELACE, opera in four acts (Théâtre Lyrique, 1898); five ballets, etc.”
“One of most popular Carmens active in post-World War II France, Michel studied at the Paris Conservatoire before beginning her career as a concert and recital singer in the 1930s. She made her début at the Opéra-Comique in 1945, in the title role of Ambroise Thomas' MIGNON. She was soon established as an important mezzo-soprano at that company, as well as at the Paris Opéra; her plummy, contralto-ish timbre and crisp, witty delivery of text enlivened all of her specialties, which ranged from Carmen - undoubtedly her signature role, with more than 600 performances to her credit - to Charlotte in WERTHER, Dalila, Geneviève in PELLÉAS ET MÉLISANDE, Gluck's Orfeo and Marguerite in LA DAMNATION DE FAUST. The best-known of Michel's recordings is the 1950 EMI-Pathé CARMEN, in which spoken dialogue (rather than recitative) is delivered with incomparable panache by a superbly chosen cast, many of them Opéra-Comique veterans. Stylishly paced by André Cluytens and recorded at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, Michel's Carmen is sly, sexy and authoritative, testifying to her long association with Bizet's Gypsy.
Other Michel recordings included Ernest Bour's 1947 recording of L'ENFANT ET LES SORTILÈGES, in which she sang the roles of La Bergère and L'Ecureuil (The Squirrel); Louise's Mother in Jean Fournet's 1956 performance of LOUISE; and Geneviève in Désiré-Emile Ingelbrecht's 1962 PELLÉAS. In 1963, Michel created the role of the Maharani in the world premiere of Menotti's THE LAST SAVAGE at the Opéra-Comique. Although she was active principally in France, she appeared as a guest at Covent Garden, La Scala, Teatro San Carlo in Naples, Teatro Liceo in Barcelona, Royal Flemish Opera and Teatro Colón, among other theaters. She retired from singing in 1978.”
- OPERA NEWS, 7 Jan., 2011
“Soprano Berthe Monmart débuted at L’Opéra–Comique on 18 April, 1951 as the Countess in NOZZE. She then appeared as Ariadne in ARIADNE AUF NAXOS, Santuzza in CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA, Fiordiligi in COSÌ FAN TUTTE and Charlotte in WERTHER.”
- Zillah Dorset Akron
“Massard made his professional début at the Paris Opéra in 1952, as the High Priest in SAMSON ET DALILA, shorthly followed by Valentin in FAUST. The same year, he also made his début at the Aix-en-Provence Festival, as Thoas in IPHIGÉNIE EN TAURIDE. His career rapidly took an international dimension with débuts in 1955, at La Scala and the Glyndebourne Festival, both as Ramiro in L'HEURE ESPAGNOLE. Oreste in IPHIGÉNIE EN TAURIDE was his début role at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, the Royal Opera House in London, and the Edinburgh Festival. Massard also appeared in North and South America, notably at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, at Carnegie Hall and the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires. Henceforth considered one of the best French baritones of his generation, he was internationally acclaimed as Valentin in FAUST, Escamillo in CARMEN, Fieramosca in BENVENUTO CELLINI, and Golaud in PELLÉAS ET MÉLISANDE.”
- 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.”