Forgotten Opera Singers

Forgotten Opera Singers

Jun 1, 2014

Ernest Tilkin-Servais (Baritone) (Bruxelles 1888 - ? 1961)


His real name was Ernest Servais. His family came from Lüttich. He was a violinist before becoming a singer, however, he was also a gifted sculptor and graduated from the Académie des Beaux Arts in Brüssel. Then he became at the conservatoire of Brussels a pupil of the pedagogue Desiré Demest. Since 1910 he appeared as a concert singer and very early travelled around France, Holland, Spain, Portugal and Brazil. In 1913 for the first time he sang at the Opera House of Lyon. During the First World War he appeared in Brussels at the Trocadéro and at the Théâtre de la Bourse. In 1918 he was engaged by the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels and remained as the first baritone for the following ten years. Here in 1919 he sang the role of Ali in the première of the opera ''Marouf'' of Rabaud. In 1926 he made guest appearance at the Covent Garden; there he sang as a partner of Maria Jeritza in ''Thaïs'' of Massenet and, in addition, the Grand-prêtre in ''Samson et Dalila'' of Saint-Saëns. At Monte Carlo he created on 13. 2. 1926 the role of Holofernes in the premiere of the opera ''Judith'' of Honegger. Several times he made guest appearances at Holland, where he performed in ''Rigoletto'' and ''Trovatore''. He retired early after the death of his only son and became a pedagogue at Brussels

Chronology of some appearances

1913 Lyon Opera House
1918 Brussels Théâtre de la Monnaie 


Gramophone, Paris 1920-04-25
Ballo in maschera (Verdi): Et c'est toi qui déchires mon âme 032380 03342v
Africaine (Meyerbeer): Ballde d'Adamastor  032379 03345v

Gramophone, Paris 1924-10-01
Carmen (Bizet): Je suis Escamillo with Fernand Ansseau DB880 2-034038

Gramophone, Paris 1930-06?
Muette de Portici (Auber): L'amour sacré with Fernand Ansseau E560 30-3865

Gramophone, 1931
Lakmé (Delibes): Stances AU30 32-2116
Pagliacci (Leoncavallo): Prologue AU30 32-2115

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