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Gabriel Bacquier (b1924)

Bacquier initially studied to be a commercial artist, and during the wartime occupation of France undertook his national service on the railways. But having been fascinated by singing from his childhood, he entered the Paris Conservatoire in 1945 and graduated in 1950 with first prizes for singing, opera and operetta, having paid his way by singing in cinemas and bars. Between 1950 and 1952 he sang with the private opera company of José Beckmans, after which he was a member of the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels from 1953 to 1956. Here he sang in both French opera and operetta, as well as in the popular international repertoire. Bacquier made his début at the Paris Opéra-Comique in 1956 as Sharpless/Madama Butterfly and at the Paris Opera in 1958 as Germont père/La traviata. Two years later he sang the title rôle in Don Giovanni at the Aix-en-Provence Festival and took over the title rôle in Rigoletto at short notice at the Paris Opera. This resulted in him becoming a member of the company, making his début in this capacity as Scarpia in Tosca opposite Renata Tebaldi.




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