(b Nancy, 21 or 31 Dec 1871; d Los Angeles, 6 Dec 1939). French tenor. He began his musical career as a horn player in Paris, where he was at first refused admission to the Conservatoire because he was ‘too good a musician to waste his time in being a mediocre singer’. He made his operatic début at Rouen in 1899, as Siegfried. He then went to the Brussels Opera, and in 1904 first sang at Covent Garden in Faust. He appeared in the British premières of Jules Massenet's Hérodiade, Camille Saint-Saëns's Hélène, M.-A. Charpentier's Louise and Raoul Laparra's Habañera, as well as in the world première of Franco Leoni's L'oracolo (1905). He also made a special study of Wagner, under Franz Emmerich, and in 1908 sang Lohengrin at Bayreuth. One of the most valued singers in Oscar Hammerstein's company at the Manhattan Opera House, New York (1906–10), he made his début there as Charles Gounod's Faust and later sang Don José, Manrico and Pelléas among other roles. He sang regularly with the Boston and Philadelphia-Chicago companies, and as a member of the Chicago Opera (1910–18) where his roles included Tristan and Parsifal. He later taught singing in France and the USA. A sensitive musician and a colourful personality, he was also admired for his acting. Recordings show that his powerful voice was used with much technical accomplishment and a sense of style.
From The Grove Book of Opera Singers in Oxford Reference.