Jongleur de Notre Dame   (Billot, Fugere, Soulacroix)    (Malibran 156)
Item# OP0005
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Jongleur de Notre Dame   (Billot, Fugere, Soulacroix)    (Malibran 156)
OP0005. LE JONGLEUR DE NOTRE-DAME - Excerpts (Massenet), w.Friant, Billot, Allard, Bourdin, Soulacroix, Fugère, Dupré, Vanni-Marcoux, Devriès, Journet, Maréchal, de Trévi, Couzinou & Garden. (France) Malibran 156. Final copy! - 3760003771563


"LE JONGLEUR DE NOTRE-DAME is a three-act opera (labelled in the programme as Miracle in Three Acts) by Jules Massenet to a French libretto by Maurice Léna. It was first performed at the Opéra Garnier in Monte Carlo on 18 February 1902. It is based on the story of the same name by Anatole France in his collection L'Étui de nacre, which was in turn based on a 13th-century medieval legend by Gautier de Coincy, c. 1220. The role of Jean the juggler was popularised in the United States by the famous soprano, Mary Garden, which, according to some sources, horrified composer Massenet, who meant the role for a tenor. Garden's undertaking of the role was in the tradition of actresses of that era playing Peter Pan.

The opera was popular in the early part of the twentieth century, due partly to Mary Garden's appearances in it, but it soon disappeared from the world's stages, as did many of Massenet's other operas. Up to the early 1950s however, it received 356 performances at the Opéra-Comique in Paris."

- Revolvy

"With his strong family theatrical background, becoming a dancer, training and performing as an actor with the great Sarah Bernhardt and winning an award as a singer at the Paris Conservatoire, Charles Friant occupied a special place in a long line of French tenors active in the first half of the 20th century. He not only moved extraordinarily well on stage, portraying a role with histrionic subtlety but, more importantly, sang with great taste, style and musicality. His many talents were both natural and also the result of training and, although not unique, it seems rare today to find all these gifts apparent in one tenor. He was without doubt a truly fine and important French artist. Could any tenor have been more qualified [in JONGLEUR] than Friant, for what became one of his signature-roles? With his theatrical experience as a dancer, actor, singer and an ability to juggle he made the ideal Jean - he takes part in a long scene - here sung [with] Roger Bourdin and Pierre Dupré while in the background one can hear the chanting of the monks."

- Alan Bilgora, THE RECORD COLLECTOR, 2016