Forgotten Opera Singers

Forgotten Opera Singers

Apr 24, 2015

Paul Franz (Tenor) (Paris, France 1876 - Paris, France 1950)




His real name was François Gauthier. First he became a railroad employee, then studied singing at the Conservatoire in Paris. Privately he perfected his vocal technique under Louis Delaquerrière in Paris. In 1908 he won a competition for amateur singers and immediately attracted the attention ot the director of the Grand Opéra in Paris. His debut that same year as Lohengrin in Nantes was a remarkable success and he subsequently joined the ensemble of the Grand Opéra, where he remained as an admired member until 1938. Here he appeared in several opera premieres:
1914 Parsifal (Richard Wagner)
1920 La Légende de Saint Christophe (Vincent d'Indy)
1921 Antar  (Gabriel Dupont)
1921 Les Troyens (Hector Berlioz)
1923 Padmâvati (Albert Roussel)
In 1922 he had at the Grand Opéra a special success as Walther von Stolzing in ‘’Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg’’. At the Opéra de Monte-Carlo he made guest appearance in 1922. The next year he sang there in the premiere of Raoul Gunsbourg’s ‘’Lysistrata’’. He also sang in Brussels. In  the 1910-1914 he appeared with great success at Covent Garden, London. Here his repertoire included the Samson in C. Saint-Saën's ''Samson et Dalila'', Radames in ''Aida'', Raoul in ''Les Huguenots'' of G. Meyerbeer, José in ''Carmen'' and Julien in ''Louise'' of G. Charpentier. Siegfried Wagner intended him for the Bayreuth Festival of 1915, but the outbreak of the First World War prevented these plans. In 1910 he performed at La Scala, in 1918 at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, also he guested at the Opera in Antwerp After his stage farewell he was appointed a professor at the Conservatoire National de Paris. He was also active as a composer (ballet ''L'Orchestre en liberté'') and translated German song texts of Schubert and Schumann

Chronology of some appearances

1909-1938 Paris Grand Opéra
1910 Milano La Scala
1910-1914 London Covent Garden
1918 Buenos Aires Teatro Colón
1922-1923 Monte-Carlo Opéra 


Gramophone, Paris 1911-10-27
Samson et Dalila (Saint-Saëns): Arrêtez, ô mes frères 4-32274 16920u
Lohengrin (Wagner): Récit du Graal 032212 02158v

Gramophone, Paris 1911-11-14
Roméo et Juliette (Gounod): Salut, tombeau 032227 02198v

Gramophone, Paris 1911-11-28
Aida (Verdi): O céleste Aida 032238 02233v
Carmen (Bizet): La fleur 032239 02234v

Gramophone, Paris 1912-04-29
Roméo et Juliette (Gounod): Ah, lève-toi, soleil 032244 02377v
Sigurd (Reyer): Esprits gardiens 032245 02378v

Gramophone, Paris 1912-05-13
Sigurd (Reyer): Un souvenir poignant 4-32306 17200u

Gramophone, Paris 1912-12-07
Huguenots (Meyerbeer): Plus blanche 032268 02616v

Gramophone, Paris 1914-01-10
Siegfried (Wagner): Chant du glaive 4-32353x 18622½u
Parsifal (Wagner): Une arme seule 032302 02884v
Parsifal (Wagner): Hagards nes yeux 032303 02883v
Walküre (Wagner): Chanson du printemps 4-32352x 18623u

Gramophone, Paris 1914-04-22
Lohengrin (Wagner): Ma confiance en toi 7-32007 18782u
Lohengrin (Wagner): Mon cygne aimé 2-032013 02953v
Tannhäuser (Wagner): Récit de Rome, pt 1 2-032014 02954v 
Tannhäuser (Wagner): Récit de Rome, pt 2 2-032015  02955v

Pathé, Paris 1924?
Attaque du Moulin (Bruneau): Adieux à la forêt 0426
Hérodiade (Massenet): Air de Jean 0428

Pathé, Paris 1930 - 1931
Siegfried (Wagner): Murmures de la forêt, pt 1 7235
Siegfried (Wagner): Murmures de la forêt, pt 2 7235

Columbia, Paris 1930 - 1932?
Fille de Roland (Rabaud): Chanson des épées LF23 WL2024
Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Wagner): L'aube vermeille LF23 WL2220
Hérodiade (Massenet): Ne pouvant réprimer LFX56 WLX1351
Siegfried (Wagner): Nothung! Glaive rêve! LF45 WL2344
Siegfried (Wagner): Chant de la forge LF45 WL2345
Sigurd (Reyer): Le bruit des chants LFX56 WLX642

Pathé, Paris 1933?
Samson et Dalila (Saint-Saëns): Scène de la meule, pt 1 (w. chorus) X90043
Samson et Dalila (Saint-Saëns): Scène de la meule, pt 2 (w. chorus) X90043
Otello (Verdi): Tout m'abandonne X 90047
Prophete (Meyerbeer: Roi du ciel X 90047

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