OP2113. LES Pï¿½CHEURS DE PERLES - Excerpts (Bizet), w.Etcheverry Cond. Renï¿½e Doria, Alain Vanzo, Robert Massard & Jacques Scellier. (France) Malibran 742. - 7600003777423
"In my opinion, the firm of Malibran deserves the Légion d'Honneur for the services it has rendered to French opera and to the art of singing. Malibran has brought out a constant stream of discs of operas that are otherwise unobtainable. Throughout the nineteenth century and right up until the post Second World War period, French composers fed the twin Paris opera houses with a diet of new operas. The closure of the Opéra-Comique in 1972 and the withering of the provincial opera house dealt a fatal blow to the entire French operatic tradition. The fine French singers who were once so plentiful have become an endangered species. Even if there were a desire to revive this repertoire, it would be very hard today to cast the operas appropriately. This is where the Malibran discs may play an important historical role. They enable us to hear this neglected repertoire in idiomatic performances given by the last generation of singers who really understood how they should be sung."
- Patrick Bade, THE RECORD COLLECTOR, 2011
"...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'Opéra and the Opéra-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 José at age 45! By the time he reached the age of 48, on 20 April, 1965, he sang with Montserrat Caballé (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 Opéra's historic revival of Meyerbeer's ROBERT LE DIABLE which the company had not staged for some 90 years. Mady Mesplé, 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
“Renée Doria’s official operatic début took place in 1942, in Marseille, as Rosina in IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA. After singing Constance in THE ABDUCTION FROM THE SERAGLIO in Cannes under Reynaldo Hahn, and the three heroines (Olympia, Giulietta, Antonia) in LES CONTES D'HOFFMANN in Strasbourg, opposite baritone Vanni Marcoux, she made her Paris début at the Gaîté-Lyrique in 1943, as Lakmé, and the following year, made her début at the Opéra-Comique, in the same rôle. Her début at the Paris Opéra in 1947, as the Queen of the Night in THE MAGIC FLUTE, was highly successful. Other rôles at that house included Leila in LES PÊCHEURS DE PERLES, the title rôle in MIREILLE, Marguérite in FAUST, Juliette in ROMÉO ET JULIETTE, Ophélie in HAMLET, Manon, Thaïs, as well as Fiordiligi in COSÌ FAN TUTTE, Gilda in RIGOLETTO, and Violetta in LA TRAVIATA, etc.
Doria also sang in baroque music such as Rameau's LES INDES GALANTES, and contemporary works, such as Ravel's L'HEURE ESPAGNOLE, and Poulenc's DIALOGUES DES CARMÉLITES. In her thirty year career, Doria sang an estimated sixty rôles.
- Zillah Dorset Akron
"Massard made his professional debut at the Paris Opéra in 1952, as the High Priest in SAMSON ET DALILA, shorthly followed by Valentin in FAUST. The same year, he also made his debut at the Aix-en-Provence Festival, as Thoas in IPHIGENIE EN TAURIDE. His career rapidly took an international dimension with debuts in 1955, at La Scala and the Glyndebourne Festival, both as Ramiro in L'HEURE ESPAGNOLE. Oreste in IPHIGENIE EN TAURIDE was his debut role at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, the Royal Opera House in London, and the Edinburgh Festival. Massard also appeared in North and South America, notably at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, at Carnegie Hall and the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires. Henceforth considered one of the best French baritones of his generation, he was internationally acclaimed as Valentin in FAUST, Escamillo in CARMEN, Fieramosca in BENVENUTO CELLINI, and Golaud in PELLEAS ET MELISANDE."
- Ned Ludd