OP2005. LE POSTILLON DE LONGJUMEAU (Adam), Broadcast Performance, 1952, w.Gressier Cond. Henri Legay, Janine Micheau, Lucien Lovano, René Herent, André Vessières, etc. (France) Malibran 727. - 7600003777270
“If ever a tenor could be described as underrated, it must be the French Henri Legay….On record, Legay is unfailingly musical and stylish, as we hear [above] opposite the equally wonderful Janine Micheau. He sings the famous Rondo with nicely turned trills and an easy top D-flat and, in my opinion, trumps the more famous and macho versions by Gedda and Roswaenge.”
- Patrick Bade, THE RECORD COLLECTOR, 2011
“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