Forgotten Opera Singers

Forgotten Opera Singers

Dec 28, 2011

Leon Escalais (Léonce-Antoine Escalaïs) (Tenor) (Cuxac-d'Aude 1859 – Paris 1941)

He commenced his vocal studies as a young man at the Music Conservatory of Toulouse, where he won prizes for singing and opera performance. He continued his studies at the Paris Conservatory with two well-known teachers of the day, Crosti and Obin, prior to making his professional debut at the Théâtre du Château (Paris) in 1882, in Sardanapale by Jean-Baptiste Duvernoy. Escalaïs was offered a contract by the Paris Opéra. His first appearance with the Paris Opéra at the Palais Garnier occurred in 1883, as Arnold in Guillaume Tell. (Arnold would become one of his signature roles.). Two years later, he sang for the first time at the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels, and he made his debut at La Scala, Milan, in 1888. He left the Paris Opéra in 1892 after a dispute with management and accepted engagements in Dijon, Lyon, Marseille and Italy. Among the taxing roles which he undertook were Eléazar in La Juive, Robert in Robert le diable, Raoul in Les Huguenots, Vasco in L'Africaine and the title parts in Le Cid and Sigurd. Between 1892 and 1908, Escalaïs sang more often in Italy than he did in his native land. He added to his repertoire such Verdi roles as Manrico in Il trovatore, Radamès in Aida and the title part in Otello. Consequently, he was sometimes described as "the French Tamagno" (after Francesco Tamagno, the Italian heroic tenor). Escalaïs rejoined the Paris Opéra in 1908. The following year, he sang as a guest artist at the New Orleans Opera House. These would be his only performances in the United States. He retired from the stage in 1912 while still in good voice and was appointed to the Legion of Honour by the French Government in 1927. In retirement, he gave private singing lessons. One of his students was José Luccioni, an outstanding dramatic tenor of the 1930s and '40s. Escalaïs died in Paris during the Second World War.

Chronology of some appearances

1886 Paris Theatre de l'Opera (Palais Garnier) "La juive" with Lucie D'Alvar (Rachel), Muratet (prince Léopold), Léon Laffitte (heraut) and d'Ervilly (princesse Eudoxie).

1890 Paris Theatre de l'Opera (Palais Garnier) "Zaire" with Emma Eames (Zaire), Dumenil (captive), Henri Jérôme (Nérestan), Jean-François Delmas (Orosmane) and Ragneau (Hassan).

1908 Paris Theatre de l'Opera (Palais Garnier)  "Aida" with Agnes Borgo (Aida), Jeanne Passama (Amneris), Jean Noté (Amonasro)  and Pierre d'Assy (Ramphis).

1910 Paris Theatre de l'Opera (Palais Garnier) "Aida" with Aurore Marcia (Aida), Jeanne Passama (Amneris), Jean Note (Amonasro) and Pierre d'Assy (Ramphis).

1910 Theatre de la Gaite-Lyrique Paris "La juive" with Chambellan (princesse Eudoxie), Félia Litvinne (Rachel), Genicot (prince Léopold) and Barrau (Albert).



Fonotipia, Milano 1905-10-10
Hosanna (Granier) 39431 Xph384
Otello (Verdi): Dio mi potevi scagliar 39326 Xph385

Fonotipia, Milano 1905-11-07
Guillaume Tell (Rossini): La Gloria infiammi with Antonio Magini-Coletti & Oreste Luppi 39342 XPh432
Guglielmo Tell (Rossini): Troncar suoi di with Oreste Luppi and Antonio Magini-Coletti 39196 Xph433

Fonotipia, Milano 1905-11-10
Mage (Massenet):  Ah parais 39393 Xph442
Juive (Halevy): Dio m'ispira 39362 Xph448

Fonotipia, Milano 1905-11-13
Stances (Flégier) 39392 Xph457

Fonotipia, Milano 1905-11-14
Aida (Verdi): Celeste Aida (in french) unpubl. Xph465
Juive (Halevy): Rachel quand du Seigneur 39428 Xph466
Juive (Halevy):  Dieu m'claire 39379 Xph468
Samson et Dalila (Saint-Saens): Arretez, o mes freres F39371Xph469

Fonotipia, Milano 1905-11-18
Ugonotti (Meyerbeer): Vendicar l'affronto with Giuseppe Sala, Antonio Magini-Coletti, Oreste Luppi, Ferruccio Corradetti, Angelo Algos and Giuseppe Masotti 39370 Xph473

Fonotipia, Milano 1905-11-24
Guillaume Tell (Rossini):  Asile hereditaire 39427 Xph489

Fonotipia, Milano 1905-11-27
Africaine (Meyerbeer): O paradis 39426 Xph 491

Fonotipia, Milano 1905-11-29
Prophete (Meyerbeer):  Roi du ciel 39429 Xph495

Fonotipia, Milano 1905-12-01
Robert le diable (Meyerbeer): Sicilienne 39414 Xph498

Fonotipia, Milano 1906-02-21
Sigurd (Reyer):  Avec ces fleurs...Oublions les maux soufferts with Amelia Talexis 39525/26  Xph1636/37
Lombardi (Verdi): La mia letizia 39533 XPh1641

Fonotipia, Milano 1906-02-24
Juive (Halevy): Rachele allor che iddio 39573 Xph1658

Fonotipia, Milano 1906-02-28
Pastorale languedocienne (Rupès) 39546 Xph1674

Fonotipia, Milano 1906-03-20
Jerusalem (Verdi):  Je veux encore entendre 39562 Xph1719
Cid (Massenet): O Souverain 39563 Xph1720
Trouvere (Verdi): Suplice infame 39577 Xph1721

Fonotipia, Milano 1906-03-21
Pierre l'Hermite (Granier) Scène pour ténor 39579 Xph1722

Fonotipia, Milano 1906-03-22
Otello (Verdi):  Dieu tu pouvais m'infliger 39578 Xph1724
Trovatore (Verdi): O toi mon seul espoir 39564 Xph1725
Otello (Verdi): Tout m'abandonne (Ora e per sempre addio) 39565 XPh1726

Fonotipia, Milano 1906-03-26
Polyeucte (Donizetti): Source delicieuse 39566  Xph1729

1 comment:

  1. MOLTO BELLO!!! Thank you my Friend for sharing this Valuable Biographical information.