Forgotten Opera Singers

Forgotten Opera Singers

May 29, 2015

René Fournets (Bass) (Pau, France 1858 † Paris, France 1926)

He studied singing at the Conservatoire National de Paris under Boulanger and Obin. In 1884 he made his debut at the Opéra-Comique in Paris as Frère Laurent in ‘’Roméo et Juliette’’. On 7. 5. 1888 he appeared at the Opéra-Comique in the premiere of the opera ‘’Le Roi d'Ys’’of E. Lalo. During the following eight years he sang at this opera house with success. In 1892 he made his debut at the Grand Opéra in Paris as Mephisto in ‘’Faust’’. Here his repertoire included Wotan in ‘’Walküre’’, Leporello in ‘’Don Giovanni’’, Landgrafen in ‘’Tannhäuser’’, Abimelech in ‘’Samson et Dalila’’ and many other parts. He appeared in different opera premieres:
1893 Paris Grand Opéra ‘’Hellé’’ (Alphonse Duvernoy)
1899 Paris Grand Opéra ‘’Briseïs’’ (Émanuel Chabrier)
1900 Paris Grand Opéra ‘’Lancelot’’ (F. L. R. Joncières)
Till 1899 he remained a member of the Grand Opéra. In 1903 he had a huge success at the Théâtre Gaîté-Lyrique in Paris as Phanuël in ‘’Hérodiade’’. In 1903 at the Opéra de Monte-Carlo he performed in the premiere of the opera ‘’Le Tasse’’ of Eugène d'Harcourt. In 1894 he founded in Paris a home for impecunious, young artists.

Chronology of some appearances

1884-1892 Paris Opéra-Comique
1892-1899 Paris Grand Opéra
1903 Opéra de Monte-Carlo


Pathé cylinders, Paris 1898 – 1900 (or 1902?)
Faust (Gounod): Trio final with Léonie Tanésy and Maurice Vallade 0759

G&T, Paris 1902
Faust (Gounod): Scène de l'église 32466 340F

Pathé cylinders, Paris 1902/1903
Damnation de Faust (Berlioz): Voice des roses 3555
Faust (Gounod): Le ciel a visité la terre 3661
Africaine (Meyerbeer): Filles des rois 3588
Noël (Adam) 3649

Edison 2-min cylinders, Paris 1905?
Huguenots (Meyerbeer): Bénédiction des poignards 17203
Sigurd (Reyer): Invocation de Freïa 17204

Homophone, Paris 1906-07-07
Pauvres fous (Tagliafico) 8390
Faust (Gounod): Trio final with Albertine Lauger-Dubois and Gaston Dubois 8392

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