Greatest Opera Singers

Greatest Opera Singers

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Louis Azéma (Bass) (Agde, Herault / department, France 1876 - Montmorency, France 1963)

                                                                 Don Basilio

He studied singing at the Paris Conservatoire under Isnardon. In 1901 he made his debut at the Opéra de Lyon in ‘’Les Huguenots’’of G. Meyerbeer. In 1903 he sang in Nantes, the next year at the Théâtre de la Haye in the Hague. He married to the mezzo-soprano Jeanne Billa-Azéma (1879-1967), who was engaged together with him by the Opéra-Comique in Paris (1905), where as a beginning role he sang Don Basilio in G. Rossini's ‘’Il Barbiere di Siviglia’’. Till 1930 he was a highly respected member of this opera house. Here he appeared in the premieres of ''Les Pêcheurs de Saint Jean'' by Ch. Marie Widor (1905), ''Ariane et barbe-blue'' by P. Dukas (1907), ‘’Macbeth’’ of  E. Bloch (1910), ‘’La Jota’’of R. Laparra (1911), ‘’La Sorcière’’ by C. Erlanger (1912), ‘’Marouf’’ of H. Rabaud (1914), ‘’Le Roi Candaule’’ of A. Bruneau (1920) and ‘’Dans l'Ombre de la Cathédrale’’ of G. Hüe (1921). His extensive repertoire included sultan in ‘’Marouf’’, Nilakantha in ‘’Lakmé’’, Arkel in ‘’Pelléas et Mélisande’’, Daland in ''Fliegenden Holländer'', Lothario in ''Mignon'', Sulpice in ''La fille du Régiment'', Louis XII in ''La Basoche''. After his retirement, he became in 1941 a manager of the Théâtre du Capitole, Toulouse. Later he lived in Paris and been active again as a painter. Several his portraits have been attached in the entrance hall of the Opéra-Comique.

Chronology of some appearances

1901 Lyon Opéra
1904 Hague Théâtre de la Haye 
1905 Paris Opéra-Comique


Ultima (later Perfectaphone, Corona, Opéra, Arya), Paris 1905?
Mignon (Thomas): Mignon (Thomas): Berceuse 429

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