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Pol Plancon (1851 - 1914)

Plançon (first name Paul-Henri, Pol being a familiar version of Paul) was first taught by the tenor Gilbert Duprez, who had created the role of Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor in 1835, and later studied with Giovanni Sbriglia, who also taught the brothers Édouard and Jean de Reszke, with whom he was to sing frequently. In an interview given in 1905 Plançon himself said he had modelled his singing on that of a Parisian idol of the 1860s and 1870s, the baritone Jean-Baptiste Fauré. He made his operatic stage debut in 1877 as St Bris / Les Huguenots at Lyons, remaining there for two years, after which he appeared in several French provincial theatres and made his Parisian debut in 1880 as Collona in Duprat’s opera Pétrarque at the Théâtre Gaîté-Lyrique.

At the Paris Opera Plançon’s first appearance was in 1883, when he sang Méphistophélès in Gounod’s Faust. During his ten years with the Opera, where his partners included the sopranos Emma Eames and Nellie Melba, he created the roles of Don Gormas in the first performance of Massenet’s Le Cid (1885) and of François I in Saint-Saëns’s Ascanio (1890).




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