OP3179. LA BELLE HELENE (Offenbach), Broadcast Performance, w. Cariven Cond. RTF Radio-Lyrique Ensemble; Maria Murano, Claude Devos, Marcelle Sansonetti, Gaston Rey, Lucien Huberty, André Balbon, etc.; MARIA MURANO: Chanson Gitane (Yvain); Arias from La Périchole, Frasquita, Le Petit Faust, La Mascotte, Colombe & Le Prince de Madrid - recorded during Live Performance. (France) 2-Malibran 793. Very long out-of-print, Final Copy! - 7600003777935
"LA BELLE HELENE is an opéra bouffe in three acts by Jacques Offenbach to an original French libretto by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy. The operetta parodies the story of Helen's elopement with Paris, which set off the Trojan War. It was first performed at Paris' Theatre des Variétes on 17 December, 1864, starring Hortense Schneider and José Dupuis. LA BELLE HELENE was an instant success with both the public and the critics and enjoyed an initial run of 700 performances."
- Ned Ludd
"Maria Murano was a French lyric mezzo-soprano. She was most active postwar in the years between 1950 and 1970.
She started at the Paris Opéra shortly after World War II, then joined the Grand Theatre de Bordeaux, where she became famous as Madame Alexandra in Jean-Michel Damase and Jean Anouilh's lyrical comedy COLOMBE in 1961. Later, she played opposite Luis Mariano in LE PRINCE DE MADRID and Ivan Rebroff in FIDDLER ON THE ROOF."
“André Balbon was a French bass opera singer, born in 1902. He was principally active in France in character roles. In 1924 he appeared in LES BURGRAVES by Léo Sachs at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, before working in the French provinces for several years.
Balbon made his début at the Paris Opéra-Comique on 1 November 1928 as un Officier in LORENZACCIO by Moret. From then until the 1940s he was a regular member of the Opéra-Comique company with an extensive repertoire. He sang in the Paris premieres of BOURGEOIS DE FALAISE by Thiriet (Sottencourt), COMME ILS S'AIMENT by Lavagne (Lustrac), ESTHER DE CARPENTRAS by Milhaud (Cacan), FOU DE LA DAME by Delannoy (Cavalier noir), FRASQUITA by Lehar (Aristide), GEORGES DANDIN by d’Ollone (Sottenville), NUIT EMBAUMÉE by Hirschmann (Ali), MON ONCLE BENJAMIN by Bousquet (Pontcassé), RAYON DE SOIERIES by Rosenthal (Monsieur Loyal), RIQUET À LA HOUPPE by Hue (Marquis de Carabas), LE ROI D'YVETOT by Ibert (Renaud), LE TESTAMENT DE TANTE CAROLINE by Roussel (Maître Corbeau), TOUT ANK AMON by Pérez (Hapousend), VIEUX GARÇONS by Urgel (von Petersboom), and ZADIG by Duperrier (Arimage).
In 1933 Balbon created the title role in Marc Berthomieu’s opérette ROBERT MACAIRE, at the Grand Théâtre in Le Havre. For two seasons, from 1953–55, Balbon sang at the Théâtre de la Monnaie, Brussels, appearing as Calchas (LA BELLE HÉLÈNE), Pomarel (LA CHASTE SUZANNE by Jean Gilbert), Gaspard (LES CLOCHES DE CORNEVILLE) and the Baron de Gondremark (LA VIE PARISIENNE).
In 1934 he appeared as Popoff in the Meilhac version of DIE LUSTIGE WITWE (La Veuve Joyeuse) at the Théâtre de la Gaîté-Lyrique in Paris and returned to the role in Geneva in February 1954 in a Grand Théâtre de Genève production starring Jacques Jansen as Danilo.
Balbon participated in FEU D'ARTIFICE by Erik Charell and JURG AMSTEIN with music by Paul Burkhard starring Suzy Delair at the Théâtre Marigny in 1952. He sang Robinet in the premiere of the comédie lyrique COLOMBE by Jean-Michel Damase and Jean Anouilh on 5 May 1961.”