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Ernest Blanc (1923 - 2010)

As a young man Ernest Blanc was employed at the Toulon arsenal. Here his colleagues, impressed by his singing, encouraged him to enter local singing competitions. Success in these quickly led to more formal study between 1946 and 1949 at the Toulon Conservatoire, with Sabran; and his operatic début came in 1950 at Marseilles with Tonio/Pagliacci. Blanc then sang in both the French and Italian repertoires in many of the French regional opera houses before making his début at the Paris Opera in the title rôle of Rigoletto. He was to be the leading baritone at the Palais Garnier for twenty-five years, singing a variety of parts, including Valentin/Faust (Gounod), Amonasro/Aida, Germont père/La traviata, Renato/Un ballo in maschera, Wolfram/Tannhäuser, Enrico Ashton/Lucia di Lammermoor, Michele/Il tabarro and Andrey Shchelkalov/Boris Godunov, as well as Theogène in the première of Henry Barraud’s Numance (1955). In addition he often sang at the Opéra-Comique, enjoying particular success as Rigoletto and Scarpia/Tosca; and was a frequent guest at the Aix-en-Provence Festival.




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