V0037. GÉORI BOUÉ: Songs by Hahn & Chausson; Arias from Nozze, Manon, Carmen, La Damnation de Faust, Faust, Otello, Die Lustige Witwe (in French), La Périchole & La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein. (France) Malibran 507. - 3760003775073
“Outside her homeland, the singing of French lyric soprano Geori Boué has always been an acquired taste. Blame that on narrow, excessively bright timbre, as well as hardness of tone in the upper octave. With this disc, even non-French listeners will give Boué her due. Most of her performances here present lovelier vocalism than I've heard in any of her other recordings, while offering memorable artistry that overcomes any vocal imperfections.
Born in 1918, Boué began her career as a teenager in her hometown, Toulouse, singing lyric mezzo roles frequently taken in France by sopranos (Urbain, Siébel, Stephano). By 1942, the young singer was a star at Paris's two major houses. She was heard in the gamut of French roles (from Micaëla and Ophélie to Thaïs, Mélisande and, in late career, Carmen), plus heroines of Verdi, Puccini and Tchaikovsky. A glamorous figure onstage, Boué was born for operetta; among her triumphs in that realm were Lehár's Hanna Glawari, Offenbach's Hélène and the trouser role of Mozart in the comédie musicale of that name by Reynaldo Hahn and Sacha Guitry.
The majority of the performances on Malibran's disc were recorded from 1942 to 1949, when Boué was at her most elegant, invariably enhancing her innate musicality with immaculately clear diction. Repeatedly she delights the ear with a magical soft attack: listen, for example, to ‘comme une demoiselle’ in Marguerite's jewel song. Boué gives that thrice-familiar aria one of its finest recorded performances, notable for easy trills, perfectly articulated runs and captivating youthful femininity.
Very affecting are two arias from MIREILLE, even if the biggest moments of the formidable Crau scene tax Boué's resources unduly. Unlike so many other Manons, her enchanting characterization never exaggerates the liveliness of ‘Je suis encore’ (delicious ‘floats’ in the opening phrases) or the sadness of the ‘Adieu. She offers ‘Mi chiamano Mimì’ in both Italian and French - with the latter, truly the essence of charm, standing as the preferable performance. Boué's lighter-than-usual Desdemona manages -‘Salce, salce’ - with much poise, and the ‘Ave Maria’ could hardly be more angelically sung.”
- Roger Pines, OPERA NEWS, JULY 2012
“Geori (Georgette) Boué made her Paris début at the Opéra-Comique in 1939, as Mimi in LA BOHÈME (singing in the 1,000th performance at the Salle Favart on 3 May 1951), and other rôles there included: Lakmé, Manon (singing in the 2,000th performance on 18 January 1952), and Ciboulette (first performance at the Opéra-Comique). Her début at the Palais Garnier took place in 1942, as Marguérite, and she went on to sing rôles such as Juliette, Thaïs, Salomé in HÉRODIADE, Louise, Gilda, Violetta, Desdemona, Tosca, Madama Butterfly, Tatiana, etc. Boué had a clear voice of considerable power, renowned for her impeccable diction, she was widely regarded as one of the greatest French sopranos of the 1940s. She was married to French baritone Roger Bourdin in May 1944, with whom she can be heard in two recordings, FAUST under Thomas Beecham, and THAÏS. She retired from the stage in 1970, then died 5 January, 2017, at age 98.”
- David Salazar, operawire.com, 6 Jan., 2017