La Navarraise;  Griselidis    (Moizan, Vanzo, Mollien, Roux, Mars)   (2-Malibran 813)
Item# OP3250
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La Navarraise;  Griselidis    (Moizan, Vanzo, Mollien, Roux, Mars)   (2-Malibran 813)
OP3250. LA NAVARRAISE, recorded 1963, w.Hartemann Cond. Geneviève Moizan, Alain Vanzo, Jacques Mars, Lucien Lovano, Joseph Peyron, etc.; GRISELIDIS, recorded 1959, w. Cloëz Cond. Geneviève Moizan, Michel Roux, Janine Collard, Nadine Sautereau, Lucien Lovano, etc. (both Massenet). (France) 2-Malibran 813. [A fascinating taste of French Verismo offering Vanzo as you've never heard him before!] Final Copy! - 7600003778130


"LA NAVARRAISE is an opera in two acts by Jules Massenet to a French libretto by Jules Claretie and Henri Cain, based on Claretie's short story LA CIGARETTE. It was first performed at Covent Garden in London on 20 June 1894, with Emma Calv in the title role; Calv returned for the Paris premiere by the Opra-Comique at their temporary quarters on the Place du Chatelet (the present Theatre de la Ville) on 3 October 1895, which led to more than 180 performances of the work by the company over the next 60 years.

LA NAVARRAISE is widely agreed to be Massenet's answer to Italian verismo and was very popular in its day, often being performed on a double bill with Mascagni's CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA. Its popularity has waned since operatic tastes changed in the early part of the twentieth century, and today the opera is rarely performed. However, at the Wexford Festival in October/November 2013, LA NAVARRAISE was performed in a double bill with Massenet's THERESE. It has, however, been recorded a number of times, most notably in the 1970s with Marilyn Horne and Placido Domingo, and with Lucia Popp and Alain Vanzo."

- Wikipedia

"GRISELIDIS is an opera (described as a 'conte lyrique') in three acts and a prologue by Jules Massenet to a French libretto by Armand Silvestre and Eugène Morand. It is based on the play by the same authors first performed at the Comédie-Française on 15 May 1891, which is drawn from the medieval tale of 'patient Grissil'. The story is set in 14th century Provence, and concerns the shepherdess, Grislidis, and a number of attempts by the Devil to lure her into infidelity. Grislidis' loyalty to her husband, The Marquis, is strong, however, and the devil is vanquished.

It was first performed at the Opra-Comique in Paris on 20 November 1901, with Lucienne Brval in the title role. The piece achieved 50 performances in the first six months at the Opra-Comique, was withdrawn from the repertory in 1906, and in a half-century had been seen there 73 times. According to Rodney Milnes, Grislidis on its own terms, is one of Massenet's most successful operas and does not deserve neglect: the action moves swiftly, the instrumentation is economic and delicate, and the melodies unconstrained, with a skilful mixture of comedy and sentiment, and a vocally rewarding title role."

- Wikipedia

Genevive Moizan entered the Conservatoire de Paris in 1942, and upon graduation in 1946 she won first prize in the Saint Sulpice competition. She dbuted at the Paris Opra in 1949 as Margurite in FAUST (with Nor and Andr 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 rles: Werther, Sapho, Le Roi d'Ys, Mignon, Il Trovatore, etc.

- Zillah D. Akron

"...Vanzo combines all the elements of bel canto, whatever the selection. A seamless legato is joined with a technique that produces a beautiful, effortless sound....Vanzo's voice caresses the music and demonstrates elegance."

- Bob Rose, FANFARE, Nov./Dec., 2005

"Alain Vanzo made his debut at l'Opra and the Opra-Comique in 1957, going on to sing the Duke of Mantua in 1957. He became known and respected as a lyrical tenor and graduated towards a more robust tenor, culminating in his taking on Werther at age 40 and Don Jos at age 45! By the time he reached the age of 48, on 20 April, 1965, he sang with Montserrat Caball (her American debut) in a concert performance in Donizetti's LUCREZIA BORGIA at Carnegie Hall. Finally, after his 1976 performances of FAUST in the US, he had become a star.

In 1985, at age 57, [Vanzo] starred in the Paris Opra's historic revival of Meyerbeer's ROBERT LE DIABLE which the company had not staged for some 90 years. Mady Mespl, the soprano and a frequent vocal partner, told Le Monde that 'with [Vanzo's passing in 2002] a whole page of French lyric history has vanished."

- Anne Midgette, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 24 Feb. 2002