OP1997. LE SONGE D'UNE NUIT D'ETE (Thomas), Broadcast Performance, 1956, w.Rosenthal Cond. Janine Micheau, Henri Legay, Xavier Depraz, Odette Turba-Rabier, Michel Hamel & André Vessières, etc. (France) 2-Malibran 724. - 7600003777249
"It's best to sit back and enjoy [Le Songe d'une Nuit 'Ete] for what it is - a delightful opéra comique brimming with melody and musical invention. We are also offered a feast of some of the best French singing of the period. The exquisite Janine Micheau with her luminous high notes and the highly accomplished Odette Turba-Rabier blend their voices attractively in a showy florid duet and are also given plenty of solo opportunities to show what they can do. Legay sings the part of Shakespeare with suave charm - think William Shakespeare played by Tino Rossi. If ever a tenor could be described as underrated, it must be the French Henri Legay."
- Patrick Bade, THE RECORD COLLECTOR, 2011
“The French soprano, Odette Turba-Rabier, made her debut in 1936, then undertook coloratura soprano roles at both the Opéra Comique and the Grand Opéra in Paris (where her first appearance in 1945 was as Gilda in RIGOLETTO). Her career was almost exclusively in the French capital; she made only rare guest appearances in the provinces. Among her major roles were the Queen of the Night in DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE, the title roles in LAKMÉ and MIREILLE, Marzellina in FIDELIO and both Konstanze and Blonde in DIE ENTFÜHRUNG AUS DEM SERAIL. In 1942 she took part in the première of the opera GINEVRA by Delannoy at the Opéra-Comique, and in 1944 in the première of LA GAGEURE IMPRÉVUE by Henri Sauguet.”
- Bach Cantatas Website
“Parisian-born Henri Legay (1920–1992) won first prize at the Conservatoire in 1947 but began his career singing in musical shows before making his operatic début in Brussels in 1950. He made his first major Parisian appearance as Gérald (LAKMÉ) in April 1952. His career was predominately a French-based one and centred at the Opéra-Comique and the provincial theatres, where he sang a wide range of rôles including Nadir (LES PÊCHEURS DE PERLES), Julien (LOUISE), Wilhelm Meister (MIGNON), Alfredo (LA TRAVIATA), and the title parts in WERTHER, Gounod’s FAUST, and LES CONTES D’HOFFMANN. As a composer he is credited with over three hundred songs. His recordings include LE ROI D’YS, LES PÊCHEURS DE PERLES, MAUROUF, and most notably MANON, opposite Victoria de los Ángeles and conducted by Pierre Monteux, widely regarded as the definitive recording of Massenet's opera. Along with such early twentieth century tenors as David Devries, Georges Thill and Léopold Simoneau, Legay represented a lost style of French operatic singing.”
“Janine Micheau was a French singer, one of the leading lyric sopranos of her era in France, she was born in Toulouse, and studied voice at the Paris Conservatoire. She made her professional début at the Opéra-Comique on 16 November 1933, as la Plieuse in LOUISE, following this with Loys in JUIF POLONAIS by Camille Erlanger, etc. By 1935 her performances gained her invitations to Marseille (Lakmé), and then (at the instigation of Pierre Monteux) to Amsterdam (Mélisande) and San Francisco. In Buenos Aires, Erich Kleiber conducted her in Sophie in DER ROSENKAVALIER.
She created the role of Creuse in Darius Milhaud's MÉDÉÉ, for her début at the Paris Opéra in 1940, where she also sang Gilda in RIGOLETTO, Violetta in LA TRAVIATA and Sophie in DER ROSENKAVALIER, among other roles.
Once the war was over, her career became more international than it had been; she performed at La Scala in Milan, La Monnaie in Brussels, Royal Opera House in London, the San Francisco Opera, and the Lyric Opera of Chicago. At these venues she sang nearly all the great French soprano roles. From 1961 she became a voice teacher at the Paris Conservatoire, and the Mozarteum in Salzburg. Her final performance was as Pamina in Rouen in May 1968. She died in Paris at the age of 62.”
- Zillah Dorset Akron
"...the French bass Xavier Depraz had a warm basso cantante voice which darkened a little in its bottom register, opening out into a lower extension quite unusual for its type, enabling him to sing Mozart's bass roles convincingly....He is a touching Don Quichotte, a role he could have been born to sing....Nilakantha's stanzas from LAKME are beautiful....one of his best roles [is] Basile in the Opéra-Comique version of BARBIERE...."
- Tully Potter, THE RECORD COLLECTOR, 2016