Edmond Clément


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(b Paris, 28 March 1867; d Nice, 24 Feb 1928). French tenor. He studied singing at the Paris Conservatoire and made his début at the Opéra-Comique in 1889 in Charles Gounod's Mireille. He took part in the premières of Camille Saint-Saëns's Phryné and Alfred Bruneau's L’attaque du moulin (both 1893) as well as the first performances in Paris of Falstaff and Butterfly. In 1896 he was in the first Don Giovanni ever given at the Opéra-Comique, and in 1904 sang Don José in the 1000th performance of Carmen at that theatre. In 1909 he made his début at the Metropolitan in Werther and appeared in the only performances there of Fra Diavolo (1910). With the Boston Opera Company in 1912 he sang his first Hoffmann, a performance reputedly ideal in its mixture of masculinity and dreaminess, with finely shaded singing. His Don José also developed into a masterly portrayal. He returned to France to fight in World War I and was wounded; later he devoted himself to teaching, but gave a memorable last recital at the age of 60 in Paris, in November 1927. His recordings are models of their kind, with slim, clearly defined tone, a polished style and unostentatious personal charm.

From The Grove Book of Opera Singers in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Opera.

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