OP3259. DON QUICHOTTE (Abridged) (Massenet), Live Performance, 22 Sept., 1961, w.Derveaux Cond. Xavier Depraz, Andrée Gabriel, Henri Bedex, Jean Clarieux, etc. [Massenet identified personally with his comic-heroic protagonist as he was in love with Lucy Arbell who sang Dulcinée at the first performance. He was then 67 and died just two years later. The role of Don Quichotte was one of the most notable achievements of the Russian bass Feodor Chaliapin, for whom the role was specifically conceived. The opera, 1910, was one of six commissioned from Massenet by Raoul Gunsbourg for the Opéra de Monte-Carlo] (France) Malibran AMR 151. [AMR titles are issued without rear tray-cards] Final Copy!
"Xavier Depraz entered the Paris Conservatory in 1947 studying under Fernand Francell for singing, Louis Musy for stage and René Simon for the theater. In 1951 he participated in operatic creations at the Opéra in Mulhouse and Nancy, two works composed by Marcel Landowski, and in concert version of Prokofiev's THE FIREY ANGEL. He appeared in Béla Bartok's BLUEBEARD'S CASTLE, plus RIGOLETTO, DON GIOVANNI, DON QUIXOTE and THAIS. Late in his life he began a prolific dramatic artist career, first on television, for which he notably played the role of Ursus in THE MAN WHO LAUGHS for Jean Kerchbron then to the big screen. Very large, dry, emaciated face, deep timbre, he alternated effectively in military roles, as clergeymen as well as crooks. He was professor of opera at the Paris Conservatoire in 1973."
- Zillah Akron Dorset
"...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