(b St Chinian, 23 Oct 1858; d Cagnes-sur-Mer, 27 Dec 1931). French tenor. For 20 years he was a principal lyric-heroic tenor at the Opéra in Paris. Its director, Pierre Gailhard, had heard him in the provinces and arranged for lessons with Victor Duvernoy. Affré's house début as Edgardo in 1890 coincided with Melba's in Lucia di Lammermoor. He developed a large repertory, appearing in C. W. Gluck's Armide and also in the first performances at the Opéra of Entführung and Pagliacci. In 1891 he sang in the première of Le mage by Jules Massenet, who found his voice ‘vibrant as pure crystal’. At Covent Garden in 1909 his roles were Faust and Camille Saint-Saëns's Samson. He went to the USA in 1911, appearing at San Francisco and New Orleans, where in 1913 he became director of the Opera. He was a prolific recording artist and sang Romeo in one of the earliest complete operatic recordings (1912), the firmness and power of his tone showing why he was often described as the French Tamagno.
From The Grove Book of Opera Singers in Oxford Reference.