Léon David


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(b Les Sables d'Olonne, Vendée, 18 Dec 1867; d Les Sables d'Olonne, 27 Oct 1962). French tenor. He studied in Nantes and in Paris, making his début in February 1892 at Monte Carlo as Euxenos in Noël Desjoyeaux's Gyptis. In June the same year he began a long engagement at the Opéra-Comique, Paris, by singing Iopas in Les Troyens. His repertory included Almaviva, George Brown (La dame blanche), Gerald (Lakmé), Des Grieux (Manon), Wilhelm Meister (Mignon), Nadir, Vincent (Mireille), Werther and Don José. Between 1900 and 1907 he sang at the Théâtre de la Monnaie, Brussels, where his roles included Belmonte and Dimitri in Franco Alfano's Risurrezione. In 1913 he created Paco in Manuel de Falla's La vida breve at Nice. His voice, a lyric tenor, was of beautiful quality. He retired from the Opéra-Comique in 1920 and was professor of singing at the Paris Conservatoire from 1924 to 1937. His autobiography, La vie d'un ténor, was published in 1950.

From The Grove Book of Opera Singers in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Opera.

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