V3000. GEORI BOUÉ, w.Jean Pasquier, Quatuor Pascal, Louis Beydts, Roger Cortet, Albert Wolff & Gustave Cloez: Songs by Debussy, Chausson, Hahn, Heitz-Boyer, Beydts & Schubert; Arias from Nozze, Mireille, Manon, Faust, Madama Butterfly, La Boheme & Otello; Duets w.ROGER BOURDIN by Terrasse & Hahn. [This glorious release offers Boué's major recordings for French Odeon, as well as the early '50s 'picture disk' rarities from Saturne & Le Lutrin, all meticulously transferred from original 78rpm mint copies. Her inimitable recording of Hahn's 'D'une prison' alone is worth the price of the entire set. One might weep after hearing Boué's demonstration of exquisite French musicality and style, by now an entirely lost art. This recital is a unique treasure!] (Canada) 2-Yves St Laurent YSL 78-422, recorded 1943-53, Odeon, Saturne & Le Lutrin.
"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, Siebel, 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 Micaela and Ophélie to Thais, Melisande 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 Lehar's Hanna Glawari, Offenbach's Hélène and the trouser role of Mozart in the comedie musicale of that name by Reynaldo Hahn and Sacha Guitry.
The majority of the performances on this disc were recorded from 1943 to 1947, 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 Mimi' 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
"Géori (Georgette) Boué made her Paris debut at the Opéra-Comique in 1939, as Mimi in LA BOHEME (singing in the 1,000th performance at the Salle Favart on 3 May 1951), and other roles there included: Lakmé, Manon (singing in the 2,000th performance on 18 January 1952), and Ciboulette (first performance at the Opéra-Comique). In her 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 with whom she can be heard in two recordings, FAUST under Thomas Beecham, and THAIS. She retired from the stage in 1970, then died 5 January, 2017, at age 98."
- David Salazar, operawire.com, 6 Jan., 2017
"Roger Bourdin studied at the Paris Conservatory, where he was a pupil of Andre Gresse and Jacques Isnardon. He made his professional debut at the Opera-Comique in 1922, as Lescaut in MANON. His debut at the Palais Garnier took place in 1942, in Henri Rabaud's MAROUF, SAVETIER DU CAIRE. The major part of his career was to be spent between these two theatres, where he created some 30 roles.
Bourdin seldom performed outside France, but did a few guest appearances at the Royal Opera House in London, La Scala in Milan, and the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires. He also sang in the first performance of surviving fragments of Chabrier's VAUCOCHARD ET FILS IER on 22 April 1941 at the Salle du Conservatoire with Germaine Cernay, conducted by Roger Desormiere.
His most memorable roles were: Clavaroche in Messager's FORTUNIO, Metternich in Arthur Honegger and Jacques Ibert's L'AIGLON, Duparquet in Reynaldo Hahn's CIBOULETTE, Lheureux in Emmanuel Bondeville's MADAME BOVARY, the lead in Darius Milhaud's BOLIVAR, but also standard roles such as Valentin, Athanael, Onegin, and Sharpless. In all he sang an estimated 100 roles throughout his long career."
- Ned Ludd
“Each of these disks, from Canadian engineer Yves St Laurent… [feature] St Laurent's natural transfer – made without filtering, like all his dubbings – it is easy to listen to, despite the surface noise.”
- Tully Potter, CLASSICAL RECORD QUARTERLY, Summer, 2011