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Forgotten Opera Singers
Jul 30, 2013
Pierre Gailhard (Bass) (Toulouse 1848 – Paris 1918)
He began his education in Toulouse then tudied at the Paris
Conservatoryunder Revial, Couderc and Duvernoy. He made his debut in 1867 at
the Paris Opéra-Comique as a Falstaff in ‘’Le Songe d'une nuit d'été’’ of A. Thomas.
In 1872 he came to the Grand Opéra in Paris
(beginning role: Mephisto in ‘’Faust’’ of Gounod); here his career reached the climax. Here
he appeared in 17 opera premieres (among other things in 1882 at the Grand
Opéra in ‘’Francoise de Rimini’’ of A. Thomas, in 1876 in ‘’Jeanne d'Arc’’ of
A. Mermet, in 1878 in ‘’La pure Berthe’’ of V. Joncières). He was very
successful in parts like the Leporello in ‘’Don Giovanni’’, Kaspar in ‘’Freischütz’’,
Hamlet in the opera of the same name of A.Thomas, Pythéas in ‘’Sapho’’ of
Gounod, Saint-Bris in ‘’Huguenots’’of Meyerbeer, Mephisto in ‘’Faust’’ of
Gounod. He guested in Russia
and from 1879-83 sang also at the Italian opera house in London, here among other things as Mephisto
in ‘’Faust’’ of Gounod. In 1884 he was appointed manager of the Opera, a position he held jointly with Jean Eugene Ritt (1884–91) and then with Eug¨ne Bertrand (1893–9); on Bertrand's death in 1899 he became sole manager (until 1906). His regime was perhaps most distinguished for its excellent Wagner productions. He made only four recordings for Fonotipia. All are very rare.