OP3211. LA POUPÉE, recorded 1955, w. Benedetti Cond. Geneviève Pernet, Blanche Delimoges, Joseph Peyron, Willy Clément, Linda Felder, etc.; LA MASCOTTE, recorded 1953, w. Gressier Cond. Nadine Renaux, Michel Dens, Claude Devos, Liliane Berton, Linda Felder, etc. (both Audran). [Another irresistible charmer!] (France) 2-Malibran 806. - 7600003778062
"LA POUPÉE (The Doll) is an opéra comique in a prelude and three acts composed by Edmond Audran with a libretto by Maurice Ordonneau. It opened at the Théâtre de la Gaîté, Montparnasse, Paris on 21 October 1896. Along with MISS HELYETT (1890) LA POUPÉE was one of Audran's late successes. The libretto was based on E.T.A. Hoffmann's DER SANDMANN.
LA MASCOTTE (The Mascot) is an opéra comique by Edmond Audran. The French libretto was by Alfred Duru and Henri Charles Chivot. The story concerns a farm girl who is believed to bring good luck to whoever possesses her, so long as she remains a virgin. The title as translated into English initiated the use of the word ‘mascot’ in the English language to mean an animal, human, or thing which brings luck.
It was first performed at the Théâtre des Bouffes Parisiens in Paris on 29 December 1880. It was very popular and 1,000 performances were given in just five years. It was revived at the Bouffes Parisiens in 1883 and 1889 and produced at other Paris theatres up until the 1930s and again in 1944; a film was made in 1935 with Germaine Roger, Lucien Baroux, Lestelly and Dranem. It was translated into English and staged."
“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