Jean Périer


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(b Paris, 2 Feb 1869; d Paris, ?3 Nov 1954). French baritone. He studied with Alexandre Taskin and Romain Bussine at the Paris Conservatoire and made his début in 1892 as Monostatos (Die Zauberflöte) at the Opéra-Comique, where he remained (except from 1894 to 1900) until 1920. His repertory lay chiefly in operetta (he sang leading roles in the first performances of André Messager's Véronique in 1898 and Fortunio in 1907, and created Duparquet in Reynaldo Hahn's Ciboulette, 1923) but he also sang Don Giovanni, Lescaut, Sharpless and was the first Pelléas (Opéra-Comique, 30 April 1902) and the first Ramiro (L᾽heure espagnole). He also created the title role in Henri Rabaud's Mârouf (1914) and Abbé Coignard in Charles Levadé's La rôtisserie de la Reine Pêdauque (1920). He sang Pelléas at the Manhattan Opera in 1908 and appeared at Monte Carlo, but remained firmly a part of the Parisian musical and theatrical scene. He acted in several films between 1900 and 1938. His was essentially a declamatory art, and even with limited gifts as a singer he created convincing characters with the help of his clear diction and his ability as an actor. Seven published recordings of his voice (on cylinders, later issued as discs) were made about 1905.

From The Grove Book of Opera Singers in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Opera.

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