Louis Morrisson

May 11, 1888 Antwerp – January 30, 1934 Antwerp

On January 30, 1970, the world of opera singers lost one of its greatest singers, the tenor Louis Morrisson died at Antwerp on this date.

Louis Morrisson (pseudonym for Ludovicus Moyson) was born in Antwerp, Belgium, on May 11, 1888, in a middle-class family, which gave him the opportunity to study in the French language at the Malonne College (Belgian Ardennes). Predisposed to music and aspiring to a career in it, he became a pupil of the well-known composer Edgard Tinel at the Lemmens Institute, Malines, from 1901 to 1907, learning fugue, counterpoint and composition, as he wished to become an organist. It was his professor, Tinel, who discovered his beautiful tenor voice, which was completely formed at the age of thirteen and at that time he regularly sang at the Christmas services in the cathedrals of Malines and Antwerp.

Completing his musical studies in 1907, he was due to leave for London, where he had a contract as organist at Westminster Abbey, when family circumstances obliged him to retract. His father, a diamond merchant, was opposed to the idea of Morrisson pursuing a musical career. He insisted that his son join him as a diamond cutter in Antwerp. While working and singing at the same time, and encouraged by his friends Morrisson finally decided to follow up the possibility of a vocal career and sang in some concerts in Antwerp and in Amsterdam where he aroused the interest of the art-director of the Rembrandt Theatre. At this time the Rembrandt Theatre was a house devoted entirely to opera, directed by an old Belgian tenor, Désiré Pauwels, who engaged Morrisson, and his debut as an operatic tenor took place during the 1909-10 season on October 1. There his name was changed from Moyson to Morrisson. The role was Manrico in Verdi's "Il trovatore", and he sang it on eight successive nights, with co-artists Cato Engelen-Sewing, soprano, Irma Lozin, mezzo, Carl Butter, baritone and Joseph Orelio, baritone.

During his years at this theatre, Morrisson sang a varied repertory apart from Trovatore: Martha, Quinten Massijs, Jevgenij Onegin, Le jongleur de Notre-Dame, I gioielli della madonna, Cavalleria rusticana and Pagliacci, two works he customarily sang on the same evening throughout his career.

During his Netherlands Opera engagement Morrisson sang (in 1913 and 1914) several performances at the Antwerp Opera, where a very enthusiastic public cheered him in Martha, Der Freischütz, Les contes d'Hoffmann, Quinten Massijs, Jevgenij Onegin, Cavalleria rusticana and Pagliacci, etc., and where he created in the Dutch language "Alpenlied", "Le jongleur de Notre-Dame" and "I gioielli della madonna".

During the same season of the performances of this beautiful work of Wolf Ferrari at the Flemish Opera, Léon Campagnola was singing the same role at the Antwerp Opéra Français. In consequence opera lovers went from one theatre to the other, making comparisons, and despite the great and undoubted merit of M. Campagnola, at the time at the peak of his glorious career, both the critics of the time and the public were even more favourable to "this young tenor with his prodigal voice" as several wrote at the time. The two tenors went to see and hear each other. Fortunately they were introduced and eventually became good friends. This friendship between two exceptional artists grew during the 1914-18 war and remained as long as they lived.

One day, after a performance of I gioielli della madonna at which Campagnola was present to hear and cheer his young rival, Campagnola said, in an admiring and convinced voice, "My friend, if I had your voice and my experience, which is so much greater than yours can be by now, at this time my fame would be as great as Caruso's and, believe me, I'm convinced of what I'm telling you". This was in January 1914, a few months before the great disaster which not only had such dramatic consequences for the entire world, but seriously affected the career of our young tenor who a few weeks later, through a Berlin impresario, signed a five-year contract for the Chicago Opera, then managed by Dippel. This contract bound Morrisson for the seasons 1914 to 1919 in the tenor roles of Il trovatore, Guglielmo Tell, La Juive, La favorita, Cavalleria rusticana and Pagliacci, La forza del destino, Aida and Lucia di Lammermoor. Unfortunately owing to the explosion of the Great War this contract had to be annulled.

Morrisson made his first recordings, commencing in 1910 in Berlin for Favorite Records, then in London for Columbia in 1911 and in 1913 in Paris for Pathé. The six vertical cut records he made there appeared first on 35 cm discs, then they were cut on 25 cm and still later they were re-recorded on to 25 cm needle-cut. From 1918 to 1920 some recordings were made for the Polydor company (Reneyphone-Polyphon-Musola).

In 1919 Morrisson returned to Antwerp, then had a concert tour covering London, Manchester and other British cities, following which he visited the singing-pedagogue, M. Edmond Delit, another Belgian. At a much later press interview Morrisson stated, "Monsieur Delit gives his singing lessons following the old Italian methods (There is a good method of singing and the others are bad, an Italian method only is a myth.) of Emanuel Garcia, Pauline Viardot-Garcia and Blanche Marchesi. He has now settled as a singing master in Paris and today – here inserting shyly "thanks to the successes I have everywhere I'm singing in France" – he is the professor who is consulted by almost all the artists of L'Opéra and the Opéra-Comique for instruction and for his wide knowledge of the science of voice-placing." M. Delit was not only Morrisson's teacher, but as an impresario he managed all of Morrisson's contracts during his stay in France. In fact he settled in Paris from July 1919 - at Neuilly-sur-Seine - and made his opera debut for that country in the part of Eléazar, La Juive, on January 16, 1920, at Le Havre. There is an interesting press interview report given the day following the performance. To a question of one of the reporters Morrisson answered, "What you were told, dear Sir, is quite correct. The manager of your Lyric Theatre really was afraid about me, because at the 'Italienne' (short piano accompanied rehearsal) yesterday afternoon I sang in half voice and by-passed the long passages. So when I had returned to my hotel this gentleman said - about me - 'But good heavens, our first falcon soprano will certainly strike this gentleman, who doesn't even dare to let us hear his voice. Whatever will happen tonight! At the beginning of the performance last night - on hearing the baritone-like notes of my first act entree as Eléazar 'et pourquoi pas, et pourquoi pas?' he cried. 'Do you hear, they have sent me a baritone, it's the biggest disaster of my life!' But I can assure you, after my encore of 'Ô ma fille chérie' he came to me and kissed me, tears of joy and emotion in his eyes and told me what his first thoughts had been. I am not at all angry about this for he is not the first who made this error, misled by the baritonal 'grave' of my voice, but this way I can always save a lot for the performance, which generally comes as a great 'surprise' . . ."

And a current critic wrote, "We have often heard 'La Juive' but never felt the same emotions as we did last night, when we heard and saw the new tenor Louis Morrisson in the role of Eléazar. Have our senses played us false? We don't think so and have the firm conviction that Mr. Morrisson is a genuinely superior artist. How many famous tenors have we cheered in this role? Yet nevertheless, when we compare - and this is what we do instinctively - all those great artists did not reach the same peak of perfection. Mr. Morrisson possesses the required organ and musical science, and even when other singers have the same qualities, Morrisson has something the others usually lack, a real acting ability: a real scenic science. This science he translates through his voice, his mimicry, his gait and costume. His voice is really of a marvellous purity, very homogeneous with a splendid and easy attack. He portrays the role in an original manner and the character of his Shylock-like Jew is a remarkable one, growing from the first note to the end. Starting from his 'O ma fille cherie' the audience was in a really delirious mood and one 'Encore' after another sounded. The Passover scene of the second act was of dramatic sobriety. Concerning the fourth act we can only say that it brought the warmest 'bravo's', so that our tenor was absolutely obliged to sing a second time the famous, and so difficult, 'Dieu m'eclaire, fille chore' .... "

M. Morrison sang "La Juive" more than 1,200 times Most probably untrue during his career, with the famous falcon Mme. Mathilde Comes and the basses Paul Aumonier, Paul Payan, Albert Huberty, Henri Bloemgarten and M. Raybaud. In this role he was acclaimed at the Gaîte Lyrique where he conquered all Paris on November 21, 1921 Not on November 21 as Il barbiere di Siviglia was given on that day. The Press wrote the following morning: "The Gaîté Lyrique has discovered a new tenor, Monsieur Louis Morrisson. This is an heroic tenor: he sings 'La Juive'. After the fourth act he brought the whole audience to its feet! It was the enthusiasm of a great night'. The curtain was raised again and again and we had the honour to hear an encore. So M. Morrisson began again and could have sung for a third time his famous 'grand-air', as he did not give the least impression of tiredness or effort. He really is made for singing in large houses, because he has an astonishing, easy emission and his tones, every tone, really fill the house. He certainly will be acclaimed at the Opéra-Comique, but his real scene of action should be L'Opéra.He never sang at those houses.) Let us hope the managers of our lyric theatres will go to hear M. Morrisson, for we do not possess many heroic tenors and this one ranks amongst the greatest." The remainder of the cast that night were Mme. Madesky (Rachel), the bass Emil Roque (Brogni), Vina Bovy (Eudoxie) and M. Burdino (Léopold).

On December 21, same year, the following criticism appeared in a Paris newspaper: "Last night there was a performance at L'Opéra (He never sang there and on December 20 the Opéra was closed.) of Pagliacci with a new Belgian tenor in the title role, M. Morrisson. Here he was as good as Canio as he was last month at the Gaîté Lyrique a good Eléazar. In this role he again displays his fine vocal and scenic gifts, portraying in a perfect manner the painful and fatal jealousy, bringing maximum effects to the pathetic situations. His vocal power and ease over the whole register from the highest to the lowest tones made of the grand air a 'lamento' of breathtaking dimensions; further M. Morrisson makes of the other famous and difficult pages really unique compositions, convincing by the life-like outbursts of passion. M. Morrisson gave an encore and won a very warm and intense ovation and the warmth of this increased in strength at the end of the opera."

A few months later Morrisson made his debut at the Opéra-Comique He officially never sang there. on May 15 Werther with Devriès and Cavalleria rusticana with Moisson were given that evening. Was Moisson Morrisson?, 1922, in "Cavalleria rusticana" and this was another triumphant success for him. He carried the title of this institution for the remainder of his life. The following day's report ran: "The main interest of the audience was especially excited by the appearance on stage of the new tenor, Morrisson, making his debut on our big lyrical stage. His mighty voice, incredibly easy in the highest notes, his acting intelligence as well as a young and warm conviction have given us a splendid and vibrant interpretation of Turiddu. The fullness of his notes throughout his entire register, as well as their long duration made us think immediately at the 'souvenir' of our most outstanding tenors. Considering the fact that he is not a Frenchman there is not a trace of foreign accent when he sings, articulating very intelligibly. Every word is understandable for the public, which brought him, of course, an enthusiastic ovation, almost without comparison, at the end of the night, making him repeat the 'Vive le vin qui petille' given in a really splendid manner, the high notes pealing above the chorus with an astonishing ease. After this night we are convinced that M. Morrisson has conquered all the real Parisian connoisseurs and we hope to see him often on the stage of our National Academy of Music."

During this period Morrisson appeared on all the great stages of France. Look what the critics wrote at Toulouse, to every great singer a most redoubtable town, after a performance of "II trovatore" : "M. Morrisson, the tenor who was so appreciated by our citizens some time ago in 'La Juive', 'Guillaume Tell' and 'Les huguenots' had naturally an enthusiastic welcome in the part of Manrico. We will not say again that M. Morrison has found a role that suits him, no, it was much better than that. By singing this part his stature has increased, if possible, because his Manrico, with its high notes, trumpeted with ease, sureness and unbelievable suppleness has filled the lovers of Grand Opera with joy. His easy, mighty, full warm and well-limbered voice has astonished everybody once again. Firstly in his 'Serenade' in the first act, then in the second act duet with Azucena. He was obliged to sing the 'mal reggendo' and the famous 'Ah! che la morte ignore' of the Miserere scene twice; and concerning 'Di quella pira' this grew into a delirious success with no less than three encores. An unforgettable night for lovers of grand opera and heroic tenors."

We find M. Morrison back, in "Guglielmo Tell" of Rossini at Marseille on January 30, 1921, when the press wrote the following about him: "He arrived here in Marseille yesterday afternoon from Le Havre. In that town he had sung 'La Juive' the night before and last night he had to sing the part of Arnold. It was a real revelation, with each act his success grew and it is true that yesterday's performance of this Rossini work was one that our stage had never seen previously. M. Morrisson is not the traditional heroic tenor, he is a real 'mixed tenor' who must be marvellous in 'Gli ugonotti' or 'Faust' in which we should love to hear him. He triumphed in the 'fort' and all the top notes. The power of his voice unleashed stormy ovations, and in the indicated places this brilliant tenor presented some sublime mezzo-voce phrases, with which this brilliant tenor fills his hearers with ecstasy. Right from the first act, after the 'Mathilde io t'amo d'amore' sung with love and emphasis, loud ovations resounded. The same was true for the duet with Mathilde, Mlle. Marguerite Charpentier, and the famous trio, Arnold, William, Walter, with Messrs Weber and Aumonier, caused a long continued ovation. The crown to this work was without doubt the encore given by M. Morrisson to the famous act 4 air 'O muto asil', and the stretta 'Corriam, voliam' brought a minute's long ovation. At no time did the histrionic Morrisson give way to the singer. Natural acting, expressive mimicry, the artist portrayed as well as is possible all the emotions of the character. M. Morrisson is incontestably one of the most remarkable artists we have seen here at Marseille."

And a newspaper extract from Bordeaux, January 20, 1922: "The superior talents of M. Morrisson, a singer we have heard up to now in his successes as heroic tenor - La Juive, Les huguenots, Guglielmo Tell etc.- gave us during yesterday's performance of 'Rigoletto' real life to the personage of the Duke of Mantua. The strength, purity and durability of his beautiful voice added to the beauty of the famous pages of this work. Especially the love-duet and the 'La donna è mobile' which he had to repeat of course. The interpreter of Rigoletto was Jean Noté and Gilda was sung by Mlle. Duffan." "M. Morrisson in Les huguenots" is the heading to an article from an Avignon paper in 1922. "The Raoul of M. Morrisson alone justifies mounting the opera. With a tenor of such capacities and well-established fame, success was assured in advance. Not only was it a success, but a genuine triumph. To begin with. the 'Plus blanche que la blanche hermine' was sung in such a way, so homogeneous a voice, such superb high tones, that M. Morrisson had to repeat it. The 'Ô mon épée' of the third act was a triumph, but the climax we had all been waiting for was certainly in the fourth act, the 'Ou vas-tu? - Laisse-moi' and the 'Oui, tu l'as dit'' which brought the most frenetic response from the public. The 'demi-teintes' were magnificent and the high tones, brilliant and of exactitude and purity; the stage acting was sober, measured and natural. Let us mark this night with a little white cross, because it was a brilliant one. In one word-unforgettable. M. Morrisson is certainly one of the most beautiful Raouls we have ever heard."

The immortal work of Massenet was also one which he much liked to sing: I mean "Werther", of which I reproduce here an article, one amongst many, from the town of Nimes in 1924. "It really happens very seldom that we can hear a voice like this of M. Morrisson, so strong, so homogeneous, as good in the low tones as in the medium and the high. Nevertheless this heroic tenor with his trumpet like high sounds makes this mighty voice supply lender in the marvellous melodical fiorituri of Werther. Last night M. Morrisson sang it for us, it is the first time we have heard him here in this part, in which he can vocally translate the melancholic psychology, with a voice that gave itself in an astonishing manner to the passages of tenderness and charm, but sounded like a trumpet in the 'Invocation a la nature' and the 'Couplets d'Ossian'. This really prodigal tenor will never cease to bring us from one surprise to another, and at each of his appearances, in each new part, he will keep us under his spell; for his sober, fine acting, full of contained passion, enveloped by a veil of melancholic sadness had kept us so during all this performance. The least we can say is that it was an immense success and the cheers at the end of the night were endless."

So nobody will be astonished to learn that this prodigal "mixed tenor" won brilliant success in "Faust", this is what the Marseillais wrote in 1923: "Last night there was a full house for the repeat of the ever-young masterwork of Gounod, with Messrs. Morrisson and Huberty in the parts of the Doctor and Mefistofeles. "The talented tenor Louis Morrisson, who we cheered last year in ... sang this work for us; with his splendid, gripping and powerful voice obtaining, of course, the lion's share of the night's success. From the first scene the bravo's sounded, and grew, if possible, after the masterly interpreted duet. On hearing the famous cavatine by this singer, one is moved to the soul and the 'encores' obliged the great tenor to repeat this difficult aria. In the final trio 'Anges purs, anges radieux' his brilliant and prodigal voice was marvelously beautiful; this voice that by its smoothness, in the high as well as the low register is one of the most beautiful we know and is fascinating to the most discerning of listeners."

And a commentary on "La favorita" at Toulouse, May 1923: "Last night we had 'La Favorita' on the play bill, with M. Morrisson, the famous tenor of the Opera Comique. This part, one of the most difficult that exists requires a vocal sumptuousness that very few tenors have at their disposal. The air of the first act 'Un ange, une femme inconnue' sung in a perfect mezza-voce, finished in such a brilliant manner, unleashed such enthusiasm from the public that a repeat was an obligation, as well as the air from the fourth act 'Ange si pur, que dans un songe' that was sung in a marvellous manner. M. Morrisson is not distinguishing himself solely by his voice with the prodigal timbre, but also by his acting, always adapted to the situation and by his facial expression. Numerous recalls at the end of the evening confirm our personal opinion: M. Morrisson is an exceptional heroic tenor, in the full meaning of the word; a tenor, we hope, we will hear again very soon in our town of Toulouse."

At Bordeaux the same year we find in a newspaper article about "Carmen": "Too many tenors confound Des Grieus, Werther and Don José. There is nevertheless a vast difference between them and we could easily find all the depths of this difference in the interpretation by M. Morrisson of this legendary personage, the 'bandit-for love', this wild and sad human being. The conception of Mr. Morrisson remains very close to reality. First he is the simple plebeian, full of distrust for Carmen, the seductress, and it is only by the carnal desire that overwhelms him completely that he will be vanquished and follow her. His mimic art rends completely all the feelings that made him act so, consequently it was a very convincing Don Juan we had the opportunity to cheer, rousing, conquering his public in a really extraordinary manner. The voice of M. Morrisson is of a purity, a warmth and an exactness in all the registers, in the flower-song it unchained an unparalleled ovation and the following encore ended on a real storm of applause. It was an immensely successful opera night thanks to the participation of this magistral tenor M. Morrisson."

Again in a Toulouse newspaper dated December 1923 I find an eulogy of his Radames interpretation: "After a few months absence we meet again on our bill - and this with great pleasure - the name of Louis Morrisson of the Opéra-Comique, the tenor who is so highly appreciated by our Toulouse public and who, certainly, is one of the very few tenors holding the attention of the world of the theatre. After the 'Celeste Aida' a tremendous ovation obliged him to repeat this famous aria which he gave with his large and vibrant voice, this voice of an incomparable suppleness and endurance that borders on the impossible, and which he projects very easily, from the lowest to the very brilliant, thrilling highest tones, with a style and exactness which compel unlimited admiration and show possession of a most sure singing-method. It is true that after having pampered us here in La Juive, Les Huguenots and Guglielmo Tell we didn't expect less in this part. But once again his success was immense, a real triumph, and the recalls at the end of the night were unique in the annals of our theatre."

At San Sebastian, Spain, in August 1921, where some days earlier he had sung "Pagliacci" with Marcel Journet in the part of Tonio and Mme. Rizzini as Nedda, a description of "La bohème" runs: "The performance of 'La bohème', which was given last night with the same interpreters as in 'Pagliacci' last Thursday was one that will certainly linger long in memory. The tenor Louis Morrisson, of Belgian origin, drew us the personage of Rodolfo in a manner that was excellently true to life, with all the ardent passion as well as the necessary tenderness of love, infinitely poignant and human. It is an impersonation in flesh and bones, as was his Canio some days ago, in a different manner. After his great aria of the first act the ovations broke loose and he was obliged to repeat. M. Morrisson possesses a very rare solid and caressing 'timbre' at the same time. His notes are produced with perfect purity. His register is one of the widest we know and he moves within it with unusual ease. Yes, M. Morrisson is really a beautiful tenor and a great artist, I should even say: 'a perfect artist, a complete one' . . ."

And so we can say that the great reputation of M. Morrisson triumphed on all the great French lyrical stages, from Paris to Marseille and from Biarritz to Strasbourg, through Toulouse, Bordeaux, Montpelier, Le Havre, Avignon, Grenoble, Monte-Carlo, Nancy and many other towns. It is in France, in the part of Eléazar of 'La Juive' that this singer obtained a world-wide reputation in a record time. In Spain, at Madrid, Barcelona and San Sebastian he roused public enthusiasm in La Juive, Pagliacci, Cavalleria rusticana, La bohème, Les huguenots, Guglielmo Tell and many other roles.

In north Italy, at Turin, Genoa, Aosta, Biella and Asta during a gala cycle of French performances he went from one triumph to another in La Juive, Les Huguenots, Faust, Hérodiade, Roméo et Juliette, Carmen, Sigurd, Lakmé, Werther, Les pêcheurs de perles and Louise.

In Switzerland, at Geneva and Lausanne, to which he returned every season during his stay in France, he had, as everywhere else, a lasting success in his specialities-those mentioned above for Italy and Spain, plus Rigoletto, Tosca, Werther, II trovatore and La favorita. In Belgium, at Antwerp's Opera Français, Liège, Verviers (La Juive (1925/1928/1929/1931/1933), Les huguenots (1925), Il trovatore (1925), Pagliacci (1925, Tosca (1925), Werther (1925)), Namur, Gand, Mons, Charleroi, he sang all his great operatic successes. A proverb has it "No man is a prophet in his own country", but Morrisson was the exception that proves the rule. The least we can say is that he was carried on people's shoulders in triumph.

In Germany our singer received ovations everywhere he appeared during his concert-tours in Berlin, Düsseldorf, Munich, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Dresden and Leipzig. In England he sang in London, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Northampton, Nottingham and Southampton. The Netherlands, where he had made his debut and had stayed during the Great War, public continued to acclaim him in La Juive, II trovatore, Faust, Carmen, etc., etc. but at the same time he created, in Dutch, a great number of operettas of French and Viennese origin: Les saltimbanques, Gri-Gri, Rip-Rip (which ran for months). La mascotte, Les 28 jours de Clairette, Der Bettelstudent, Der Rastelbinder, Die Geisha, Vendetta and many others. M. Morrisson had, and still has, numerous enthusiastic admirers there, and faithful friends who clamoured continuously for him, and so, even during his Paris sojourn, he returned regularly to Amsterdam, to have triumphs at each opera evening in La Juive, Les huguenots, Pagliacci, Cavalleria rusticana, etc.

In 1918, during the time he remained in Holland, Morrisson signed a very advantageous "exclusive" contract for a period of five years with the Homocord Company, but during the time of his great triumphs in France, the recordings were made, less a couple, in both the French and Dutch languages. In this way a double clientele could be satisfied. During this five-year period several other recording companies asked for M. Morrisson, but had to remain unsatisfied owing to the contract. However, at the end of 1923 the Gramophone Company (H.M.V.) made a proposition, but not very satisfied with the contract offered, with the assistance of a legal adviser, he made propositions to this company that wanted him. The discussions were long and difficult and lasted until January 12, 1925, as evidenced by the voluminous correspondence, and on that date a first five -year contract was signed. M. Morrisson obtained what he desired, the contract fixing certain advantageous conditions, especially that which obliged the company:
1. (a) To pay a high and fixed remuneration for each piece recorded, and (b) to pay 5 per cent on the sale of each record, made by the company, for the duration of his life.
2. Should M. Morrisson die during the five-year period of the contract the company would continue to pay this percentage, under the same conditions, to his heirs and successors, for a period of ten years commencing at the date of decease.

These conditions granted to him have not been obtained by any other artist, no matter how famous, in this period by the company. On January 12, 1930, by mutual agreement, the contract was renewed on the same terms for a further period of five years.

An inexplicable and unfortunate sequel was that during the period of the second contract, covering the period January 12, 1930, to January 11, 1935, M. Morrisson died on January 30, 1934, during the period of its validity. The heirs found to their surprise that the company put an embargo on his records the day after his death, stopping every delivery and sale. Why? remains a mystery that has not been explained up to this day.

But to find out what kind of person our artist was, in a newspaper we read: "The short but very brilliant appearance of the beloved tenor gives us the opportunity to chatter for an hour with this great artist, who in spite of his splendid triumphs and ever-increasing fame, remains one of the world's most modest and simple men. He has kept intact his independent and sincere character, a trait of which he can be proud. This outspoken, frank character won him some solid sympathetic friends, but also some bitter animosity, for the theatrical world tends to prefer those who feign and flatter-hypocrites; and the struggle to reach the top is certainly not less in the case of a world-famous tenor."

In his correspondence we find everywhere indications of a man who was very sensitive to the misfortunes of others, full of goodwill to everyone he met. Those with whom he was personally acquainted certify that he had a golden heart, always ready to assist his fellow men. He was easily excited, but rapidly gained control of himself. He was a very kind, frank and loyal character. Even at the peak of his career he remained simple with no trace of condescension to his less gifted colleagues, or others.

And his pastimes? When he had any free days in Paris his favourite diversion was to make a tour of the antique dealers there, to visit the sale-rooms, as his great passion was the collection of period furniture and paintings by the early masters. He possessed a large collection of pictures in his Paris residence, as well as in his villa - called "Il Trovatore" in memory of his opera debut - and where he spent his annual vacation.

Musical composition too was one of his preferred pastimes, he left some very nice pieces, very attractive by their musical intensity or most appropriate text; he wrote under the nom-de-plume "Somoye", see the following records;
La marche a Venus (No. 3) Favorite Records, for this he wrote both lyrics and music.
Heil! Heil! Mannen van den Yser (No. 146) Homocord Records and Madeliefke 'n bloemke (No. 171) H.M.V. Records for which he wrote the lyrics, but the music in co-operation with Van den Eynde.
L'amour, toujours l'amour (No. 184) H.M.V. for which he wrote the French translation of the English lyrics.
Song of songs (No. 187) and Sweet mystery of life (No. 190), two H.M.V. records for which he wrote the Dutch translation of the English lyrics.
O Scheldestad (No. 191) and Ce sont tes grands yeux noirs (No, 192) two H.M.V. records for which he wrote the lyrics, but co-operated with Neef for the music.

About 1930 Morrisson retreated with his family to his property 'Il trovatore" as he had to undergo a very serious and urgent operation, carried out at Amsterdam by a German specialist. After a slow recovery, as soon as he was able to resume his activities, we find him back in 1931 in his part of Eléazar in La Juive. In the meantime, due to a misunderstanding, the newspapers had announced his death, news soon given the lie, and all agreed that the voice of M. Morrisson had by no means lost any of its quality through this surgical intervention; on the contrary his timbre seemed to have gained in velvetness and range. So his first reappearances in La Juive at Liège, Antwerp and Verviers became triumphs. His enthusiastic public wailed for him at the stage-door and bore him on their shoulders round the theatre buildings, as they did with victorious heroes in ancient times. It appeared as if the crowd, full of joy, were restoring on his pedestal an idol they had feared to lose forever, Le Havre, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Marseilles and many other towns were again cheering "La Juive" this season and he was received wherever he went with the bid enthusiasm and success.

In July the Antwerp Opera asked him to create, for Belgium, in the Dutch language Léhar's "Das Land des Lächelns". He agreed and on October 22, 1932, the public could admire him in the part of Prince Sou-Chong. The critics; "Nobody will deny the tenor Louis Morrisson possesses a rare magnificent voice. A voice that is not bound by the rules for common mortals, for this is a gift of God that penetrates right to the heart of its listeners. The artist has such a convincing faith in all he brings us that he manages always, without apparent effort, to convince the most sceptical and oblige them also to believe in what he brings, just as we do. The success of M. Morrisson in this new presentation of Das Land des Lächelns was like a whirlwind, breath-taking and grandiose. He makes an admirable composition of the role of Prince Sou-Chong, through his fine acting some scenes were carried to tragic-peaks. One cannot find words enough to describe how he sang 'You are my heart's delight', which he was obliged to repeat twice and how he arrived all alone on this large stage, to fill the vacuum, with all the accents of his sorrow, his love and the fatalism which found an echoing response in the hearts of all his listeners. His first interpretation was like a prayer; the second was the expression of infinite tenderness and his third an unreserved explosion of a great passion. It was splendid, delirious, a striking unlimited success.'

' On April 18, 1933, he re-created this role at Liège, this time in French and the following day's report read: "Louis Morrisson, the Eléazar of La Juive, Raoul of Les huguenots, Manrico of Il trovatore, through his splendid voice, so rich in subtle nuances, brought us, in the role of Prince Sou-Chong, one of his greatest creations, showing us what a great artist he is and always has been. This great tenor, coupled with his incomparable acting has made of this part a composition one can call unique and remarkable, indicating a very deep study of the type and race. The inexhaustible capabilities of the singer and actor created an intensity of concentrated expressions which it is impossible to resist. To adopt these accents and attitudes seems childishly easy to him, for M. Morrisson is a complete artist in all the branches of his art, which he must love intensely, to bring out the power he does to reach such rarely attained perfection."

From October 22nd, 1932, to December 12, 1933, more than two hundred performances followed, with unparalleled success. There were occasions when M. Morrison, forced by the innumerable encores, was obliged to sing his famous "You are my heart's delight" six, seven, even eight times and always he submits, without apparent effort, to the exactingness of his admirers, for his voice never seemed to tire and the disease he suffered had no effect on its extraordinary richness.

But, alas, the sickness undermined his physique and finally the singer was obliged on December 12, 1933, to interrupt during its full success the run of an exceptional career. After a few weeks of painful suffering he died at his Antwerp residence on January 30, 1934.

The funeral service of the tenor had to be delayed as so many friends and admirers wanted to come and pay final respects to this admirable tenor, who in his forty-five years had achieved so much and died at the peak of his career. The cortege was so large that the tramway services had to be stopped to give it passage and one could sense in the hushed atmosphere the sincerity and regret of all present.

Morrisson in Holland
Il trovatore, Amsterdam, Rembrandttheater, October 1, 1910 with Carel Buter- van Hulst, Cato Engelen-Sewing/Nora Gisen-Hoos, Irma Lozin, Hendrik Kubbinga, Jan Albert Kwast
Faust, Amsterdam, Stadsschouwburg, October 4, 1910 (sharing with Jules Moes who sang premiere), with Cato Engelen-Sewing, Paul Pul, Carel Butter van Hulst/A. Alexanders, Ester Logger-d'Oliveira/Faniëlla Lohoff-Poons, Jan Albert Kwast
Hérodiade, Rotterdam, Groot Schouwburg, Ocotber 21, 1910, with Acrel Butter van Holst, Hendrik Kubbinga, Cato Engelen-ewing, Irma Lozin, Jan Albert Kwast
Quo vadis, Amsterdam, Rembrandttheater, on November 26, 1910 (as a young Christian), with Cato Engelen-Sewing, Irma Lozin, Nora Gieesen-Hoos, , Hendrik Kubbinga, Carel Butter van Hulst, Jules Moes, Paul Pul, Maurits/Vigeveno/Jos Mastenbroek, Jan Albert Kwast
Rina (by Israël J. Olman, world premiere as Pierre Strie), Amsterdam, Rembrandttheater, on January 1, 1911 with Faniëlla Lohoff-Poons, Frans Meermans, Israël J. Olman
Madama Butterfly, Amsterdam, Rembrandtteater, on February 15, 1911 (sharing with Silvano Isalberti), with Faniëlla Lohoff-Poons, Annie Hofman, Paul Pul, Frans Meermans, Hendrik Kubbinga/A. Alexanders, Jan Albert Kwast
Rigoletto, Amsterdam Rembrandttheater, on March 1911 (sharing with Silvano Isalberti), with Carel Butter van Hulst, Cato Engelen-Sewing, Hendrik Kubbinga, Irma Lozin, Paul Pul, Jan Albert Kwast
La traviata, Amsterdam Rembrandttheater, on April 29, 1911 (sharing with Silvano Isalberti), with Cato Engelen-Sewing
La bohème, Rotterdam Groote Schouwburg, on May 4, 1911 (sharing with Silvano Isalberti), with Carel Butter van Hulst, A. Alexanders, Hendrik Kubbinga, Faniëlla Lohoff-Poons, Nora Giesen- Hoos
La favorite, Amsterdam Rembrandttheater, on September 16, 1911, with Raphaèle Rodhain, Henri Hubert, Antonie Nieuwenhuizen, Anton Peers
Il trovatore Amsterdam Rembrandttheater, on September 26, 1911, with Josef Orelio, Caro Engelen-Sewing/Nora Giesen-Hoos, Raphaèle Rodhain, Antonie Niewenhuizen, Jan Albert Kwast
La bohème Amsterdam Rembrandttheater, on October 30, 1911 (sharing with Silvano Isalberti), with Henri Hubert, A. Alexanders, Antonie Nieuwenhuizen, Faniël;lla Lohoff-Poons/Esther Cosman, Nora Giesen-Hoos, Anton Peers
La traviata Amsterdam Rembrabdttheater, on November 13, 1911 (sharing with Silvano Isalberti), with Cato Engelen-Sewing, Henri Hubert
La Juive Amsterdam Rembrandttheater, on December 2, 1911, with Cato Engelen-Sewing, Faniëlla Lohoff-Poons, Antonie Nieuwenhuizen, Jules Moes, Henri Hubert, Jan Albert Kwast/Anton Peers
Madama Butterfly Amsterdam Rembrandttheater, on December 16, 1911 (sharing with Silvano Isalberti), with Faniëlla Lohoff-Poons, Raphaèle Rodhain, Henri Hubert, A. Alexanders
Cavalleria rusticana Amsterdam Rembrandttheater, on December 20, 1911, with Faniëlla Lohff-Poons,/Esther Cosman, Nora Giesen-Hoos, Joepsh Orelio, Bertha Mathijsc-Isaac, Jan Albert Kwast
Hérodiade Rotterdam Groote Schouwnburg, on January 17, 1912, with Henri Hubert/Joseph Orelio, Antonie Nieuwenhuizen, Cato Engelen-Sewing/Faniëlla Lohoff-Poons, Raphaèlle Rodhain, Jan Albert Kwast
Les huguenots Amsterdam Rembrandttheater, on February 17, 1912 (sharing with Jules Moes), with Cato Engelen-Sewing, Faniëlla Lohoff-Poons, Nora Giesen-Hoos, Henri Hubert, Jospeh Orelio, Antonie Niuwenhuizen, Anton Peers
Tannhäuser Amsterdam Rembrabdttheater, on March 30, 1912 (as Walter), with Antonie Nieuwenhuizen/Frits van Duinen, Jules Moes, Jospeh Orelio, Henri Hubert, Cato Engelen-Sewing, Raphaèlle Rodhain, Jan Albert Kwast/Oscar Becker
Le jongleur de Notre-Dame Amsterdam Rembrandttheater, on May 16, 1912
Il trovatore Amsterdam Rembrabdttheater, on September 6, 1912, with Joseph Orelio, Nora Giesen-Hoos/Cato Engelen-Sewing, Raphaèle Rodhain/Marie Thoms, Antonie Nieuwenhuizen
La traviata Amsterdam Rembrandttheater, on September 19, 1912, with Cato Engelen-Sewing.Sigrid Anroldson, Eduard van de Ploeg, Oscar Becker
Cavalleria rusticana Amsterdam Rembrandtteater, on September 21, 1912 (sharing with Silvano Isalberti), with Helena van Raalte-Horneman, Nora Giesen-Hoos, Eduard van de Ploeg/Joseph Orelio, Bertha Mathisjse-Isaac/Marie Thoms/Raphaèll Rodhain
Pagliacci Amsterdam Rembrandtteater, on September 21, 1912 (sharing with Silvano Isalberti), with Nora Giesen-Hoos/Cato Engelen-Sewing, Frits Kleinbloesen/Joseph Orelio, Jacques Cauveren, Eduard van der Ploeg
Carmen Amsterdam Rembrandttheater, on October 12, 1912 (sharing with Silvano Isalberti), with Jospeh Orelio, Sigrid Arnoldson/Taphaèlle Rodhain, Cato Engelen-Sewing/Nora Giesen-Hoos, Osca Becker
La bohème Amsterdam Remdrandttheater, on November 23, 1912 (sharing with Silvano Isalberti), with Eduard van der Ploeg, A. Alexanders, Antonie Nieuwenhuizen, Cato Engelen-Sewing, Nora Giesen-Hoos, Oscar Becker
Fjalar (by Israël J. Olman, world premiere as Hjalmar) on November 8, 1912, with Joseph Orelio/Eduard van der Ploeg, Antonie Nieuwenhuizen, Nora Giesen-Hoos, Helena van Raalte-Horneman, Raphaèlle Rodhain, Israëel J. Olman
Les huguenots Amsterdam Rembrandttheater, on December 7, 1912, with Cato Engelen-Sewing, Helena, van Raallte-Horneman, Nora Giesen-Hoos, Edouard van der Ploeg, Abraham Leewin/Joseph Orelio, Antonie Nieuwenhuizen
Rigoletto Amsterdam Rembrandttheater, on January 21, 1913, with Edouard van der Ploeg, Cato Engelen-Sewing, Antonie Nieuwenhuizen, Raphaèle Rodhain, Jacques J. van der Bogaerde
Der Kuhreigen Amsterdam Rembrandttheater, on February 1, 1913, with Antonis Nieuwenhuizen, A. Alexanders, Helena van Raalte-Horneman, Edoaurd van der Ploeg, Osca Becker
Louise Amasterdam Rembrandttheater, on March 1, 1913, with Cato Engelen-Sewing, Raphaèle Rodhain, Joseph Orelio
Tosca Amsterdam Rembrandttheater, on April 19, 1913, with Cato Engelen-Sewing, Edouard ven der Ploeg
Guillaume Tell Amsterdam Rembrandttheater, on May 10, 1913, with Joseph Orelio, Antonie Nieuwenhuisen, A. Alexanders, Jacques Cauveren, Cato Engelen-Sewing, Oscar Becker
La Navarraise Amsterdam Rembrandttheater, on June 26, 1913, with Raphaèle Rodhain, Edouard van den Ploeg, Antonie Nieuwenhuizen, A. Alenxanders, W. B. Overdijk, Oscar Becker
Il trovatore Amsterdan Hollandsche Schouwburg, on September 24, 1914 (sharing with Johan Reindert Schulze who sang the premiere), with Eduard van der Ploeg, Magda Litef/Cato Engelen-Sewing, Kitty Florel/Bakels/Jenny Hulst, Van Rhijn/Frits Druinen/A. Alexanders, Anton Peers
La traviata Amsterdam hollandsche Schouwburg, on October 13, 1914, with Cato Engelen-Sewing, Edouard van der Ploeg, Anton Peers
Faust Amsterdam Hollandsche Schouwburg, on October 17, 1914 (sharing with Chris de Vos, who sang the premiere, and Willem Kooper), with Wilhelmina van den Hoek/ Cato Ewing-Sewing, Joseph Orelio/Frits van Duinen/Robert van Aart, August van den Hoeck/Robert van Aart/Edouard van der Ploeg, J. Richard Heuckeroth
Rigoletto Amsterdam Hollandsche Schouwburg on November 11, 1914, with Mario Cordone, Cato Engelen-Sewing, Frits van Duinen, Dina Diependaal
Mignon Amsterdam Hollandsche Schouwburg, on November 28, 1914 (sharing with Willem Kooper), with Edouard van der Ploeg, Cato Engelen-Sewing, Wilhelmina van den Hoeck
Carmen Amsterdam Hollandsche Schouwburg
on December 14, 1914 (sharing with Chris de Vos), with Robert van Aart/Edouard van der Ploeg, Louise Diels/Leitha Demare/Irma Lozin, Cato Engelen-Sewing/Wilhelmina van den Hoeck
Cavalleria rusticana Amsterdam Hollandsche Schouwburg, on December 23, 1914, with Cato Engelen-Sewing, Marie Nagel, Edouard van der Ploeg, Louise Diels/Bertha Mathijse-Isaac, Anton Peers
Pagliacci Amsterdam Hollandsche Schouwburg, on December 23, 1914, with Cato Engelen-Sewing, Edouard van der Ploeg, Willem Kooper, Mario Cordone, Anton Peers
La bohème Amsterdam Hollandsche Schouwburg, on January 14, 1915, with Edouard van der Ploeg, A. Alexanders, Robert van Aart, Esther Cosman, Louise Diel, J. Richard Heuckeroth
Cavalleria rusticana Amsterdam Theater Carré, on July 8, 1916, with Marie Nagel/Esther Cosma, Luigi Mazzoleni/Henri Dons, Marie Ditma, Eugène Beecjman/Anton Peers
Pagliacci Amsterdam Theater Carré, on July 8, 1916, with Marie Nagel/Esther Cosma, Mazzoleni/Henri Dons, August van den Hoeck, Eugène Beecjman/Anton Peers
La bohème Amsterdam Theater Carré, on Juley 22, 1916, with Luigi Mazzoleni, Esther Cosman, Nora Giesen-Hoos/Wilhelmina de Ley-de Val, Eugène Beeckman
Faust Amsterdam Theater Carré, on July 30, 1916, with Wilhelmina van den Hoeck, Joseph Orelio, Luigi Mazzoleni/Henri Dons, Irma Lozin/Bertha Mathijse-Isaac, Karel Philip Mönch/Anton Peers
Guillaume Tell Amsterdam Theater Carré on August 12, 1916, with Jospeh Orelio, Wilhelmina de Ley-de val, Anton Peers
Pagliacci 's-Gravenhage Scala, on August 16, 1917, with Wilhelmina de Ley-de Val, Eduard van der Ploeg, Hendrik Drost, Robert Berger, Eugène Beeckman
Tosca 's-Gravenhage Scala, on August 17, 1917, with Wilhelmina de Ley-de Val, Edouard van der Ploeg, Israël J. Olman
Pagliacci Amsterdam Theater Carré, on August 10, 1917 (apparently he was singing Tonio), with Dister, Wilhelmina van de Hoeck, de Vos, August van den Hoeck
Die Csárdásfürstin 's-Gravenhage Scala, on September 1, 1917, with Beppie de Vries, Piet Köhler, Johan Boskamp, Adiraan Blokland
La Juive Amsterdam Theater Carré, on October 1, 1917, with Wilhelina de Ley-de Val, Henri Bloemgarten, Hendrik Drost, van Beek/Robert Berger, Ben Geijsel
Cavalleria rusticana Amsterdam Theater Carré, on October 13, 1917 (sharing with Hendrik Drost), with Dina Diependaal/Zorah Dorly/Catharina Geijsel-Gestman, Greta de Hartogh, Emile van Bosch, Edith Buyens/Mies Rogmans, Eugène Beeckam
Pagliacci Amsterdam Theater Carré, on October 13, 1917, with Wilhelmina van den Hoeck/Zorah Dorly/Wilhelmina de Ley-de Val, Emile van Bosch, Hendrik Drost, Jan Blok/Robert Berger, Eugène Beeckam
Tosca Amsterdam Theater Carré, on November 18, 1917, with Wilhelmina de Ley-de Val, Emile van Bosch
Carmen Amsterdam Theater Carré, on November 20, 1917, with Jan Blok/Emile van Bosch, Zorah Dorly, Wilhelmina van den Hoeck, Ben Geijsel
Madama Butterfly Amsterdam Theater Carré, on December 8, 1917, with Zorah Dorly, Greta de Hartogh, Robert Berger, I. Polak, Jan Blok
Carmen Amsterdam Thater Carré, on November 16, 1919 (sharing with Louis Dister who sang the premiere, with Chris de Vos and Silvano Isalberti), with Paul Pul/Emile van Bosch/Romain Carbelly, Zorah Dorly/Faniëlla Lohoff-Poons, Wilhelmina van den Hoeck/Cato Engelen-Sewing, Jacobus J. van Amerom/Henri Zeldenrust
Cavalleria rusticana Amsterdam Theater Carré, on December 3, 1919 (sharing with Louis Dister who sang the premiere, and with Chris de Vos), with Romain Carbelly/Emile van Bosch/Edoaurd van der Ploeg, Paula Bos-Nix/Truus de Bruin, Bertha Mathisjse-Isaac, Zorah Dorly/Faniëlla Lohoff-Poons/Wilhelmina van den Hoeck/Cato Engelen-Sewing
Pagliacci Amsterdam Theater Carré, on February 8, 1920 (sharing with Louis Dister who sang the premiere/Chris de Vos), with Zorah Dorly/Fani&eum;lla Lohoff-Poons/Wilhelmina van den Hoeck, Romain Carbelly/Emile van den Bosch/Edouard vaan de Ploeg, Iwan Monarch, Martin van Reen
La Juive Amsterdam Theater Carré, on June 16, 1920, with Faniëlla Lohoff-Poons
Carmen Amsterdam Theater Carré, on November 16, 1921 (sharing with A. Massonat-Collard who sang the premiere), with Tiskin Servais/Jean Janaur, Faniëlla Lohoff-Poons, Emma Decary, Charles Strony
La Juive Amsterdam Theater Carré, on November 19, 1921 (sharing with Louis de Lérick who sang the premiere), with Alice Bérelly, Marthe Darney, Jean Morello, A. Massonat-Collard, Léo Marco, Charles Strony
Il trovatore Amsterdam Theater Carré, on November 27, 1921, with Tilkin-Servais/Jean Janaur, Marthe Darney, Edith de Brésy, Henri Bloemgarten, Charles Strony
Les huguenots Amsterdam Theater Carré on Decmber 7, 1921 (sharing with Louis de Lérick, who sang the premiere), with Alice Bérelly, Marthe Darney, Jeanne Béhon, Jean Janaur, Léo Marco, Jean Morello, Charles Strony
Cavalleria rusticana Amsterdam Theater Carré, on December 10, 1921, with Faniëlla Lohoff-Poons/Marthe Darney, Jeann Béhon, Tilkin-Servais, Lyse Alfieri, Charles Strony
Pagliacci Amsterdam Theater Carré, on December 10, 1921, with Emma Decary, Jean Janaur, Octave van Aerschot, Louis Belmont, Charles Strony
Carmen Amsterdam Theater Carré, on February 26, 1922 (sharing with Louis Dister), with Tilkin-Servais/Luigi Mazzoleni, Faniëlla Lohoff-Poons/Zora Dorly, Cato Engelen-Sewing
Cavalleria rusticana Amsterdam Theater Carré on April 10, 1922 (sharing with Louis Dister), with Frans Meermans, Zorah Dorly/Faniëlla Lohoff-Poons, Tilkin-Servais
Les huguenots Amsterdam Theater Carré, on May 20, 1922, with Andrine Savelli, Faniëlla Lohoff-Poons, Céline van Leeuwen, Anton Dirks, Richard van Helvoirt Pel, HGenri Bloemgarten, Jacobus J. van Amerom
Il trovatore Amsterdam Theater Carré, on May 21, 1922, with Tilkin-Servais/Anton Driks/Ricahrd van Helvoirt Pel, Faniëlla Lohoff-Poons/Andrine Savelli, Dina van Wely, Henri Bloemgarten
La Juive Amsterdam Theater Carré, on May 27, 1922, with Caro Engeln-Sewing, Faniëlla Lohoff-Poons, Henri Bloemgarten, A. Massonat-Collard, Jacobus J. van Amerom
Carmen 's-Gravenhage Gebouw voor Kunsten en Wetenschappen, on October 22, 1922 (sharing with Heinz Arensen who sang the premiere/Carl Clewing/Hendrik Drost/Sante Montelauri/Hendrik Appels), with Richard van Helvoirt Pel/Emil van Bosch, Greta Santhagens-Manders/Lola Artôt de Padilla/Aline Sanden/Faniëlla Lohoff Poons, Mien Bowmeester-Verheijdt/Weilhelmina de Ley-de Vol/Magda LitefBen geijsel/Henri Zeldenrust
Carmen Amsterdam Theater Carré, on November 17, 1922 (sharing with Antoine Rocca who sang the premiere), with Tilkin-Servais/Edouard vsn der Ploeg
Cavalleria rusticana Amsterdam Theater Carré, on November 20, 1922, with Wilhelmina de Ley-de Vol, Tilkin-Servais
Pagliacci Amsterdam Theater Carré, on November 20, 1922, with Wilhelmina de Ley-de Vol, Tilkin-Servais
La Juive Amsterdam Theater Carré, on November 23, 1922, with Cato Engelen-Sewing, Faniëlla Lohoff-Poons, Henry Garden, Johan Reindert-Schulze
Les huguenots Amsterdam Stadsschouwburg, on November 25, 1922, with Wilhelmina de Ley-de Val, Faniëlla Lohoff-Poons, Richard van Helvoirt Pel, Henry Garden
Cavalleria rusticana Rotterdam Groote Schouwburg, on December 9, 1922 (sharing with Jos Besselink/Emanuel Giletta), with Greta Santhagens-Manders, Mien Bouwmeester-Verheijdt, Paul Pul/Tilkin-Servais/Emile van Bosch, Gust Scheepmaker, Ben Giejsel/Rudilf Tissor
Pagliacci Rotterdam Groote Schouwburg, on December 9, 1922 (sharing with Johan Reindert-Schulze/Antonio Bonini/Hendrik Appels), with Wilhelmina de Ley-de Val/Rinalda Pavoni, Emile van Bosch/Richard van Helvoirt Pel/Tilkin-Servais/Renzo Conati, Jos Besselink, Henk Angenent, Ben Giejsel/Rudilf Tissor
Il trovatore Amsterdam Stadsschouwburg, on December 12, 1922 (sharing with Alexander Kirchner/Antonio Bonini/Sante Montelauri), with Emil van Bosch/Tilkin-Servais/Renzo Conati, Greta Santhagens-Manders, Maartje ZOffers, Henri Bloemgarten/Joahn Iseke, Rudolf Tissor/Ben Geijsel
Faust 's-Gravenhage Gebouw voor Kunsten en Wetenschappen, on December 25, 1922 (sharing Edmond Gallins/Louis van Tilder/Emanuele Giletta), with Aline Sanden/Emma Decary/Zinaïda Jurjewskaya/Wilhelmina de Ley-de Vol, Rinalda Pavoni/Annie Ligthart/Faniëlla Lohoff-Poons, Magda Litef, Cornelius Bronsgeest/Paul Pul, Emile van Bosch/Henk Angement/Martin van Reen, Elize de Haas/Magda Litef, Ben Geijsel
Les huguenots Rotterdam Groote Schouwburg, on March 10, 1923, with Citena/Greta Spoel, Faniëlla Lohoff-Poons, Elize de Haas, Cornelis Bronsgeest, Richard van Helvoirt Pel/Paul Pul, Henri Bloemgarten, Uriel Nespoli
Carmen 's-Gravenhage Gebouw voor Kunsten en Wetenschappen, on December 7, 1923 (sharing with Remo Andreini who sang the premiere), with Marino Emiliani, Gemma Bellincioni, Inse de Giacomi, Seldamr Meyriwitz
Tosca 's-Gravenhage Gebouw voor Kunsten en Wetenschappen, on January 24, 1924 (sharing with Hans Bohnhof), with Gemma Bellincioni, Marino Emiliani, Selmar Meyrowitz
La Juive Amsterdam Theater Carré, on December 30, 1923, with Nora Gieen-Hoos, Aurélia Thiesset, Gerard Leenders, Johan Reindert Schulze, Edouard van de Ploeg, Jacobus J. van Amerom
Faust Amsterdam Theater Carré, on January 8, 1924 (sharing with Jean Rubeau), with Greta Santhagens-Maders/Emma Decary, Paul Pul/Richard van Helvoirt Pel, Richard van helvoirt Pel/Emil van Bosch, Céline Alberts, Jacobus J. van Amerom
Cavalleria rusticana Amsterdam Theater Carré, on January 20, 1924 (sharing with Jules Moes), with Greta Santhagens-Manders, Truus de Bruin, Léopold Roosen/Edouard van der Ploeg/Emil van Bosch, Gusta Sheepmaker
Pagliacci Amsterdam Theater Carré, on January 20, 1924, with Annie Ligthart, Léopold Roosen
Carmen Amsterdam Theater Carré, on November 11, 1923 (sharing with Louis Dister/Manfredo Polverosi), with Paul Pul/Emile van Bosch/Carlo Togliani, Greta SanthagensManders. Wilhelmina van den Heock/Letizia Cairone, Jacobus J. van Amerom
Faust Amsterdam Paleis voor Volksvlijt, on September 28, 1924 (sharing with Louis van Tulder who sang the premiere), with Greta Santhagens-Manders, Paul Pul, Richard van Helvoirt Pel, Céline AAlberts, Gaeteano Comelli
La Juive Amsterdam Paleis voor Volksvlijt, on January 28, 1925, with Nora Giesen-Hoos, Gérard Leenders, Jules Moes, Jacobus J. van Amerom
Les huguenots Amsterdam Theater Carré, on August 14, 1926, with Emma Decary, Faniëlla Lohoof-Poons. Henri Bloemgarten
La Juive Amsterdam Theater Carré, on August 15, 1926, with Faniëlla Lohoff-Poons, Henri Bloemgarten
Faust 's-Gravenhage Gebouw voor Kunsten en Wetenschappen, on Naovember 4, 1928 (sharing with louis Dister who sang the premiere), with Emma Decary/Emma Luart/Sophie Haase-Pieneman, Paul Pul/Anton Dirks, Willem Herckenrath/Corry Couvreur, Jules Dreese/Henri Zeldenrust
Faust 's-Gravenhage Koninklijke Schouwburg, on October 25, 1929 (sharing with Evert Miedema who sang the prmiere/Edmond Fraikin), with Anron Dirks/Scapini Leorux, John de Nocker, Margaretha Adriani, Sophie Haase-Pienenman/Aennchen Perizonius/Lea Fuldauer, Henri Zeldenrust
Carmen 's-Gravenhage Gebouw voor Kunsten en Wetenschappen, on November 12, 1929, with Anton Dirks, alice Plato, Corry Couvreur, Henri Zeldenrust
La Juive 's-Gravenhage Gebouw voor Kunsten en Wetenschappen, on December 25, 1929, with Magda Litef, Faniëlla Lohoff-Poons, Scapini Leroux, Kees, Smulders, John de Nocker, Henri Zeldenrust

A weakness of this reference is that it does not give the name of the newspapers quoted.
For Dutch speakers
Korte biografie
Louis Morrisson, eigenlijke naam Ludovicus Moyson werd geboren op 11 mei 1888 te Antwerpen. Hij studeerde aanvankelijk compositie en orgel in Brussel bij Edgar Tinel en werd in 1907 zelfs uitgenodigd voor een reeks concerten in de Westminster Abbey te Londen. Ondertussen had men de kwaliteiten en mogelijkheden van stem ontdekt en na verdere studie te Brussel gaf hij zijn eerste concerten als zanger in Antwerpen en Amsterdam. Hij maakte in Nederland zijn debuut als operazanger op 1 oktober 1909 als Manrico in Verdi's Il trovatore, hiertoe uitgenodigd door de eveneens Belgische tenor Désiré Pauwels. Leonore werd gezongen door Cato Engelen-Sewing, graaf Luna door Carel Butter (van Hulst) en Azucena door Irma Lozin. In 1910 werd hij geëngageerd door de Koninklijke Vlaamse Opera van Antwerpen, waar hij eerste tenor werd. Hij zong in Nederland in 1911 o.a. in de première van Rina (Israël J. Olman) en als Rodolfo in Puccini's La bohème, maakte in 1919 een tournee door Engeland, zong in 1921 in het Théatre Gaité Lyrique in Prijs in La Juive van Halévy (als Eléazar) en vertolkte grote rollen aan de Grand Opéra in Parijs. Hij zong als gast in de opera's van Bordeaux, Marseille, Toulouse, Brussel en trad in Nederland - waar hij bijzonder geliefd was - in vele honderden producties op gedurende de periode 1910-1929. Zijn laatste voorstelling hier was Halévy's La juive op 25 december 1929. Tot zijn dood op 30 januari 1934 was hij verbonden aan de opera van Antwerpen.
Louis Morrisson sings La traviata: Een dronk

Louis Morrisson sings Les pêcheurs de perles: Daar ver in d'heilige Tempel, with Emile van Bosch

Louis Morrisson sings Lucia di Lammermoor: Edgard, ja ik!, with Emile van Bosch

Louis Morrisson sings Il trovatore: O dood der schande
In RA format
I wish to thank Christian Torrent for the recordings (Lucia, Pêcheurs de perles, Traviata).
I wish to thank Robert Schlesinger for the recording (Trovatore).

From his operatic debut, on October 1, 1909 (Il trovatore – Amsterdam, Rembrandt) to his final appearance on December 21st, 1933, the list of his operatic roles is as follows:
Halévy, La Juive
Charpentier, Louise
Meyerbeer, Les huguenots, L'Africaine
Delibes, Lakmé
Giordano, Fedora
Rossini, Guglielmo Tell
Ponchielli, La Gioconda
Leoncavallo, Pagliacci
Bizet, Carmen, Les pêcheurs de perles
Mascagni, Cavalleria rusticana
Verdi, Il trovatore, Aida, La forza del destino, Rigoletto, La traviata
Massenet, Werther, Hérodiade, Manon, Le jongleur de Notre-Dame
Reyer, Sigurd
Donizetti, La favorita, L'elisir d'amore, Lucia di Lammermoor, La figlia del reggimento
Chaikovskij, Eugen Onegin
Thomas, Mignon
Flotow, Martha
Offenbach, Les contes d'Hoffmann
Wolf-Ferrari, I gioielli della madonna
Nougès, Quo vadis?
Puccini, La bohème, Tosca, Madame Butterfly
Adam, Le postillon de Longjumeau
Wambach, Quinten Maasijs
Lortzing, Zar und Zimmermann, Undine
Gounod, Faust, Roméo et Juliette, Mireille
Kienzl, Der Kuhreigen
Weber, Der Freischütz
(Author?), Shylock
von Waltershausen, Chabert (Oberst Chabert)
Olmen, Rina
G. Paisiello, Il barbiere di Siviglia
Liefdelied – Antwerp
Das Land des Lächelns – Antwerp, Royal, July 1932

Reference: Richard T. Soper Belgian opera houses and singers. The Reprint Company, Spartanburg, South Carolina, 1999.
The Record Collector: Louis Morrisson 1971
Websites: Dutch divas, Malibran Music, CHARM, HAFG.


It is certainly true that it is not easy to give an immediate answer to the simple question "Please, which is the best recording of Mister so-and-so?" And when the question is put about Louis Morrisson, who made some two hundred recordings, it is far from easy.

In an endeavour to deal with it, I would like to suggest that readers try to hear some of his records, the more the better. Of course they will say "the best recordings of M. Morrisson will be among his 'La Juive' titles". Yes, certainly, listen to "O ma fille cherie" sung by him and make for yourself a comparison with recordings by other singers; this little piece of music becomes great as sung by Morrisson. Or listen to "Dieu, que ma voix tremblante" or to "Rachel quand du Seigneur" and you will be swept by a wave of sympathy . . . and respect . . . and will understand why a great part of Europe wished to know only "one Eléazar" both on records and on the stage. But the interpretation of "La Juive" was just a small part of the qualities of this tenor.

Listen to the challenge-duet opening the last act of Lucia di Lammermoor by Morrisson and the baritone Emile van Bosch: "O più rapido". This duet is difficult to sing, so ungrateful; often unfortunately the scene is omitted in performances. One cannot find more than three or four interpretations for comparison, but on hearing it you will say "This is famous, what a great tenor of Grand Opera".

Let us listen together to the "Invocation a la nature" from Werther, or perhaps better still the "Tête adorée" of Leoncavallo's Bohème and you will hear all the romance, the sentimentality of a real lyric tenor. There is a recording of "Pater Noster" by Hinderdael, or the "Guarda che bianca luna" by Campagna which will certainly touch you by their purity and unexaggerated musicality.

But do not think that Morrisson limited himself to not very well-known or easily sung melodies. There are all the standards from Guglielmo Tell, Tosca, II trovatore, Les huguenots, Aida, La fanciulla del West, Martha, Rigoletto, Pagliacci and Cavalleria rusticana in two languages. Here again please compare with the great names you know and trust your own cars and heart. You will not find a pathetic theatrical figure, but a real human being of sustained musicalily, for instance as Canio from the first arioso to the final "No Pagliaccio non son".

As examples of breath control the "Brindisi" from Cavalleria will testify, as will also the aria from the fourth act of La favorita. amongst others. If you like "high C's" Morrisson has sung the whole repertory of the heroic tenor and they abound. A rarer quality of a great tenor are low tones, held without difficulty; listen to La Juive "Dieu que ma voix tremblante", the air of John in Hérodiade, the Celeste Aida, or better the duet of the fourth act between Amneris and Radames. At the same time we can note the care taken to clearly enunciate every word in the three languages he has sung.

One can only wonder why amongst all the historical long play records now on the market there are none by this tenor, who so clearly shows his devotion both to the work and the composer's wishes, even his Arnold, Raoul or Manrico are human beings and not high-note machines. I think that by his musical gifts he will make an impression on you that few others manage to do.

In the following discography, as so many titles are in Dutch, with which the majority of readers will not be familiar, where necessary translations of both the title of the work as well as of the excerpt are given. The first line gives either the title of the work or author in capitals, followed by the text sung, translation in brackets, partner(s) if any also in brackets. The line following the titling gives first the matrix number, followed by the issue numbers), except for Homocord which only have the one number for both purposes.


1.  MIGNON: Neen zij geloofde (Elle ne croyait)                                 76w. 2-95008
2.  HELMER. Le rêve passe! (in French)                                          100w. 2-5001
3.  SOMOYE. La marche à Venus (in French)                                       101w. 2-5002
4.  FAUST: De nacht verdwijnt (En vain j'interroge)                             105w, 2-95015
5.  ?. De Pelgrims (Les Pelerins) (w. Kapper)                                   111w. 2-9001
6.  DE TROUBADOUR (IL TROVATORE): O laat geen bange vrees (O, si ben mio)       112w. 2-95019
7.  FAUST: Gegroet, verblijf door haar verkoren (Salut demeure)                 114w. 2-95016
8.  LA FAVORITE: Een vrouw knielde neer (Una vergine)                           115w. 2-95020
9.  FAURE. Le Crucifix (in Dutch) (w. Kapper)                                   304p. 2-99008
10. GOUBLIER. Angelus der zee (Angelus de la mer) (w. Kapper)                   305p. 2-99009
11. MARTHA: Ach zo lief (Ach so fromm)                                          306p. 2-95007
12. DE MACHT VAN HET NOODLOT (FORZA DEL DESTINO): In deze heilige stonde        307p. 2-99010
    (Solenne in quest'ora) (w. Kapper)
13. LA BOHÈME: O Mimi ondanks (O Mimi tu piu) (w. Kapper)                       308p. 2-99011
14. WILLEM TELL (GUILLAUME TELL): O Mathilde (w. Kapper) (in Dutch)             309p. 2-99012
15. STOMME VAN PORTICI (MUETTE DE PORTICI): Veel liever sterven                 31 Op. 2-99013
    (Plutôt mourir) (w. Kapper)
16. CAVALLERIA: Moeder de wijn (Mamma quel vino)                                311p. 2-95028
17. LA BOHÈME: Uw handen zijn bevroren. (Che gelida manina)                     312p. 2-95018
18. DE HUGENOTEN (LES HUGUENOTS): Rein als sneeuw (Plus blanche)                313p. 2-95009
19. PALJAS (PAGLIACCI): Thans te spelen. (Vesti la giubba)                      314p. 2-95014
20. DE JODIN (LA JUIVE): God dat mijn loflied (Dieu que ma voix)                315p. 2-95010
21. LA FAVORITE: Gij mijn zoon. (Non sai tu) (w. Nieuwenhuizen)                 338p. 2-99014
22. DE JODIN (LA JUIVE): Maar neen! (J'implore) (w. Nieuwenhuizen)              339p. 2-99015
23. FAUST: Gegroet o laatste morgenstond                                        340p. 2-99016
    (Salut ô mon dernier) (w. Nieuwenhuizen)
24. FAUST: Hier ben ik! (Me voici d'ou vient) (w. Nieuwenhuizen)                341 p. 2-99017
25. LA GIOCONDA: Hemel en zee (Cielo è mar)                                     342p. 2-95035
26. DE JODIN (LA JUIVE): Rachel als God (Rachel quand du Seign.)                343p, 2-95036
27. CARMEN: Ik ben Escamillo. (Je suis Escamillo) (w. Kapper)                   344p. 2-99018
28. V. SCOTTO. Liefdezang (Chant d'amour) (w. Kapper)                           345p. 2-99019
29. CARMEN: De bloem die gij (La fleur que tu)                                  351p. 2-95037
30. DE MACHT VAN HET NOODLOT (LA FORZA DEL DESTINO): Al uw dreigen              352p. 2-99020
    (Le minaccie) (w. Kapper) 
31. LUCIA VAN LAMMERMOOR (LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR): Ontwaak, ja!                    353p. 2-99021
    (O più rapido) (w. Kapper)
32. RICO. Neen jij zult nooit (Non tu ne sauras)                                13958-0.  1-95083
33. VERCOLIER. Wiegelied (Berceuse aux etoiles)                                 13959-0.  1-95082
34. DANIDERFF. T'is zo goed ! (Berceuse tendre)                                 13960-0.  1-95084
35. POPPY. Paryser marsch! (Marche de Paris)                                    13961-0.  1-95096
36. ?. Lentelied. (Chanson' du Printemps)                                       13962-0.  1-95101
37. CHAUDOIR. Liefdesverlangen- (Désirs d'amour)                                13973-0.  1-95097
38. FRAGSON. Het laatste lied (La derniere chanson)                             13974-0.  1-95098
39. DANIDERFF. In 1793! (En 1793)                                               13975-0.  1-95104
40. RIGOLETTO: Dat een schone! (Questa o quella)                                13999-0.  1-95085
41. LA TRAVIATA: Een dronk! (Libiamo nei lieti)                                 14000-0.  1-95086
42. CAVALLERIA: Zoete wijn bedwelmt (Viva d vino)                               14001-0.  1-95087
43. BUTTERFLY. 'T is ware liefde (Amore o grillo)                               14002-0.  1-95088
44. CARMEN: De bloem die gij (La fleur quc tu)                                  14003-0.  1-95089
45. FRIEDMANN, In het land der dromen (Pays des rêves)                          14310-0.  1-95110
46. MERCIER. Liefdadigheid. (La charite)                                        14311-0.  1-95111
47. CREMIEU. De bloemen die wij minnen (Les fleurs que nous aimons)             14312-0.  1-95112
48. MIGNON: Vanrwel Mignon! (Adieu Mignon)                                      14313-0.  1-95113
49. JACOBS. Liefde alleen! (Rien que l'amour)                                   14327-0.  1-95109
50. DICKSON. Oublions le passe? (in French)                                     14328-0.  1-95123
51. LEONCAVALLO. Mattinata (in French)                                          14334-0.  1-95129
52. MANON: Droomlied! (En fermani les yeux)                                     14335-0.  1-95124
53. BERNTAUX. De schone Myrella (La belle Myrella)                              14336-0.  1-95127
54. KAAT MOSSEL. Een ster rijst (w. Kapper)                                     114617-0. 1-99027

55. RIGOLETTO; Dat een schone. (Questa o quella)                                36272 D-6313
56. BOREL-CLERC. Pour l'amour de Carmen, (in French)                            36273 D-6311
57. HELMER- Le rêve passe! (in French)                                          36274 D-6311
58. DE TROUBADOUR (IL TROVATORE): O dood der schande' (Di quella pira)          36275 D-6312
59. CAVALLERIA: Zoele wijn bedwelmd (Viva el vino)                              36276 D-6313
60. LA TRAVIATA: Een dronk! (Libiam nei lieti)                                  36277 D-6312
61. TOSCA: De sterren straalden (E lucevan le stelle)                           75590 D-17046
62. DE TROUBADOUR (IL TROVATORE): O! Laat geen bange vrees (O si ben mio)       75591 D-17045
63. DE TROUBADOUR (IL TROVATORE): 'T ogenblik is thans (Perigliarti ancor)      75592 D-17045
64. FAUST: Sta me toe eenmaal (Laissé-moi)                                      75593 D-17047
65. CAVALLERIA: O Lola, schone bloem! (Sicilienne)                              75594 D-17046
66. FAUST: Gegroet verblijf! (Salut demeure)                                    75595 D-17047
67. LA FAVORITE: Engel zo rein! (Spirto gentil)                                 75596 D-17067

PATHE RECORDS (1913-1914)
68. DE HUGENOTEN (LES HUGUENOTS): Rein als de sneeuw! (Plus blanche)            N-30988 X-30144
69. CARMEN: De bloem die gij (La fleur que tu)                                  N-30989 X-30143
70. TOSCA: De sterren straalden (E lucevan le stelle)                           N-30990 X-30145
71. LA TRAVIATA: Een dronk' (Libiam nei lieti)                                  N-30991 X-30143
72. RIGOLETTO: Dat een schone! (Questa o quella)                                N-30992 X-30145
73. PALJAS (PAGLIACCI): Thans te spelen! (Vesti la giubba)                      N-30993 X-30144

74. HERODIADE: Heer de drang van! (Ne pouvant reprimer)                         54-an. H-62026
75. MANON: Je suis seul, seul enfin! (in French)                                55-an. H-62027

76. TOSCA: Een zoete harmonie! (Recondita armonia)                              153-am. 10340
77. LIONNET. Hymne d'amour! (in French)                                         154-am. 10342
78. FANCIULLA DEL WEST: Ch'ella mi creda libero (in /I.)                        155-am. 10341
79. TOSTI. Idéal! (Ideale) (in French)                                          156-am. 10343

80. TOSCA: De sterren straalden (E lucevan le stelle)                           50620
81. MIGNON : Neen, zij geloofde niet (Elle ne croyait)                          50621
82. PALJAS (PAGLIACCI): Thans te spelen. (Vesti la giubba)                      50622
83. CAVALLERIA: O Lola schone bloem- (Siciliana)                                50623
84. W1LLEM TELL (GUILLAUME TELL): Verblijf voor mij! (O muto asil)              50624
85. DE HUGENOTEN (LES HUGUENOTS): Rein ald de sneeuw (Plus blanche)             50625
86. DE JODIN (LA JUIVE): God dat mijn loflied (Dieu que ma voix)                50626 
87. FANCIULLA DEL WEST: Ch'ella mi creda libero (in Italian)                    50527
88. FAUST: Gegroet verblijf door haar. (Salut demeure chaste)                   50628
89. AIDA: O, waar ik veldheer (Se quel guerrier)                                50629
90. DE STOMME VAN PORTICI (LA MUETTE DE PORTICI): Veel liever sterven           50649
    (Plutôt mourir) (w. van Bosch)
91. DE PARELVISSERS (LES PECHEURS DE PERLES): Daar ver in d'heilige Tempel      2-50650
    (Au fond du temple saint) (w. van Bosch)
92. GOUBLIER. Angelus der zee (L'Angelus de la mer) (w. van Bosch)              50651
93. FAURE. Le Crucifix! (in Dutch) (w. van Bosch)                               50652 
94. CARMEN. Ik ben Escamillo (Je suis Escamillo) (w. van Bosch)                 50653
95. LUCIA VAN LAMMERMOOR (LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR): Edgard, ja ik!                  2-50654
    (O piu rapido) (w. van Bosch)
96. DE MACHT VAN HET NOODLOT (FORZA DEL DESTINO): In deze heil'ge stonde        51027
    (Solenne in quest') (w. van Bosch)
97. BUTTERFLY: Wel, nu sprak hij de waarheid. (Ed e bella sposa) (w. van Bosch) 51028
98. FAUST: Heerlijk wonder! (O merveille) (w. van Bosch)                        51029
99. FAUST: Verloren, verloren! (Alerte! Alerte!) (w. van Bosch and Bouwmeester) 51031
100. RIGOLETTO: Ja, aan U behoord mijn leven. (Belle figlia)                    51032
     (w. Santhagens-van Bosch and Bouwmeester)
101. LA BOHÈME: O Mimi ondanks (O Mimi tu piu) (w. van Bosch)                   51033
102. PALJAS (PAGLIACCI): Zulke schertsen. (Un tal gioco)                        51034
103. HINDERDAEL. PATER NOSTER. (in Dutch) (w. van Bosch)                        51035
104. BIZET. Agnus Dei! (in Dutch) (w. van Bosch)                                51036
105. DE TROUBADOUR (IL TROVATORE): Miserère! (w. Bouwmeester) (in Dutch)        51037
106. BUTTERFLY: Gij zijt mijn meester. (Io t'ho ghermita) (w. Santhagens)       51038
107. CAVALLERIA: Neen! Neen, Turiddo. (No, no, Turiddo) (w. Bouwemeester)       51039
108. LA TRAVIATA: O laat ons vluchten (Dei miei bollenti) (w. Bouwmeester)      51040
109. LA TRAVIATA: Een dronk ! (Libiam nei lieti)                                51041
110. CARMEN: Mijn moeder zie ik weer (Ma mere je la vois) (w. Bouwmeester)      51042
111. WERTHER: Je ne sais si je veille! (in French)                              51043
112. MANON: Je suil seul, seul enfin! (in French)                               51044
113. DE JODIN (LA JUIVE): Rachel als God! (Rachel quand du Seigneur)            51045
114. LA JUIVE: Rachel quand du Seigneur! (in French)                            51046
115. ROMEO ET JULIETTE: Ah, lève toi soleil! (in French)                        51047
116. LOHENGRIN: Aux bords lointains! (in French)                                51048
117. PAILLASSE (PAGLIACCI): Me grimer, me grimer (Vesti la giubba) in French)   51049
118. LAKME: Fantaisie o divin mensonge! (in French)                             51050
119. LA GIOCONDA: Hemel en zee (Cielo è mar)                                    51051
120. TOSCA: Een zoete harmonie (Recondita armonia)                              51052
121. LA BOHÈME: Uw handen zijn bevroren (Che gelida manina)                     51053
122. MIGNON: Vaarwel Mignon! (Adieu Mignon)                                     51054
123. CAVALLERIA: Zoete wijn bedwelmt (Viva el vino)                             51055
124. CAVALLERIA: Vive le vin qui pétille! (in French)                           51056
125. FAUST: Gegroet o laatste morgenrood! (Salut o mon dernier matin)           1-51578
126. DE TROUBADOUR (IL TROVATORE): 'T ogenblik is thans!(Perigliarti ancor)     51579
127. DE KONINGIN VAN SABA (LA REINE DE SABA): 0 scherp mijn geest!              51580
128. HERODIADE: Heer, de drang van! (Ne pouvant reprimer)                       51581
129. GOUNOD. Ave Maria! (in Latin)                                              51582
130. FAUST: Het is laat! (Il se fait lard) (w. Santhagens)                      1-51583
131. FAUST: Heerlijk leven! (O nuit d'amour) (w. Santhagens)                    1-51584
132. AIDA: Oh, gij mijn vriend! (Gia i sacerdoti) (w. Santhagens)               51585
133. AIDA: En gij voor haar! (Aida me togliesti) (w. Santhagens)                51586
134. MIREILLE; Eng'len van 't Paradijs (Anges du Paradis)                       51587
135- WERTHER: Waarom mij doen ontwaken (Pourquoi me réveiller?)                 1-51588
136. LA FAVORITE: Een vrouw knielde neer (Una vergine)                          51589
137. LA FAVORITE: Engel zo rein! (Spino gentil)                                 51590
138. CARUSO- Dromen van lang geleên (Dreams of long ago)                        51591
139. ADAMS. Jerusalem! (in Dutch)                                               51592
140. LIEFDESDRANK (ELISIR D'AMORE): Een verborgen traan (Una furtiva lagrima)   51593
141. WILLEM TELL (GUILLAUME TELL): O Mathilde!                                  1-51596
     Ah! Mathilde (w. van Bosch) (in Dutch)
142. CAMPAGNA. De zilverwitte maan! (Guarda che bianca luna) (w. van Bosch)     1-51597
143. CARMEN: De bloem die gij! (La fleur que tu)                                5250
144. LA MAREILLE. Ce que c'est qu'un drapeau! (in French)                       5251
145. MARTHA:Ach zo lief! (Ach so fromm)                                         5252
146. VAN DEN EYNDE. Heil! Heil! Mannen van den Yser! (in Dutch)                 5254
147. DE TROUBADOUR (IL TROVATORE): Eenzaam moet ik sterven! (Deserta sulla)     5255
148. DE KERMISKLANTEN (LES SALTIMBANQUES): Walslied (Valse chantee)             5257
149. DE TROUBADOUR (IL TROVATORE): O laat geen bange vrees (Ah sì, ben mio)     5258
150. DE BEDELSTUDENT (DER BETTELSTUDENT): Loflied der Polin. (Ode an dir Polin) 5259
151. CAVALLERIA: Moeder, de wijn! (Mamma quel vino)                             5260
152. LA BOHÈME: Uw handen zijn bevroren! (Che gelida)                           5263
153. RIGOLETTO: Dat een schone ' (Questa o quella)                              5662
154. RIGOLETTO: Licht als een veer! (La Donna e mobile)                         5663

155. VEREMANS. Vlaanderen' (in Dutch)                                           Cc6776 2-0432019 (AU. 15)
156. MARTHA: Ach zo lief! (Ach so fromm!)                                       Bb6777 7-432174 (AT. 12)
157. LA JUIVE: Dieu que ma voix tremblante (in French)                          Bb6787 7-432171 (AT. l1)
158. LAKME: Fantaisie o divin! (in French)                                      Cc6800 2-032109 (AU. 16)
159. PALJAS (PAGLIACCI): Thans te spelen (Vesti la giubba)                      Bb6815 7-432172 (AT. 10)(AT. 12)
160. GI0CONDA: Hemel en zee! (Cielo è mar)                                      Cc6816 2-0432018 (AU. 15)
161. LES HUGUENOTS: Plus blanche que! (in French)                               Bb6817 7-432170 (AT. 11)
162. GUILLAUME TELL: Asile héréditaire!                                         Bb6818 7-432173 (AT. 10)
     (0 muto asil) (in French)
163. BOHÈME (LEONCAVALLO): Tête adorée! (Tesia adorala) (in French)             Bb9916 7-32113 (AT-14)
164. RIGOLETTO: Qu'une belle! (Questa o quello) (in French)                     Bb9917 7-32H6 (AT. 15)
165. TOSCA: O de beautés égales (Recondita) (in French)                         Bb9918 7-32114 (AT. 14)
166. AIDA: O celeste Aida! (in French)                                          Cc9919 l-032110 (AU.16)
167. CONTES D'HOFFMANN: Schep moed en vertrouwen! (Courage et confiance)        Cc9924 2-0432022 (AU. 17)
168. CAVALLERIA: Vive le vin! (Viva el vino) (in French)                        Bb9925 7-32111 (AT. 13)
169. CRAUWELS. Vergeet mij niet! (in Dutch)                                     Bb9926 7-432179 (AT. 16)
170. LE TROUVÈRE (IL TROVATORE): Pourquoi mon seul espoir.                      Bb9927 7-32115 (AT. 15)
     (Ah si ben mio) (in French)
171. VAN DEN EYNDE. Madeliefke 'n bloemke! (in Dutch)                           Bb99B8 7-432180 (AT. 16)
172. LA JUIVE: O ma fille chérie! (in French)                                   Bb9930 7-32112 (AT. 13)
173. CARMEN: De bloem die gij. (La fleur que)                                   Cc9931 2-0432023 (AU. 17)
174. DE LUSTIGE WEDUWE (DIE LUSTIGE WITWE): Kom in het kleine paviljoen         Bbl4434 7-432189 (AT. 19)
     (in Dutch)
175. DE KUISCHE SUSANNA: Verdoken in ieder mensenhart! (in Dutch)               Bbl4435 7-432190 (AT. 19)
176. GOUBLIER. Que ne peut-on rêver! (in French)                                Bbl4436 7-432187 (AT. 18)
177. LA FILLE DU FAR-WEST (LA FANCIULLA DEL WEST): Qu'elle me croit             Bbl4437 7-432191 (AT. 20)
     Ch'ella mi (in French)
178. WERTHER: Je ne sais si le veille (in French)                               Ccl4444 2-0432029 (AU. 22)
179. WERTHER: J'aurais sur ma poitrine (in French)                              Ccl4445 2-043202K (AU. 22)
180. PALJAS (PAGLIACCI): Neen, Paljas is niet meer! (No Pagliacci non son)      BM4446 7-432186 (AT. 17)
181. BEMBERG. Aime-moi' (in French)                                             Bbl4447 7-432188 (AT. 18)
182. CAVALLERIA: Moeder, de wijn! (Mamma quel vino)                             Bbl4448 7-432185 (AT. 17)
183. SIGURD: Esprits gardiens! (in French)                                      Bbl4449 7-432192 {AT. 20)
184. FRIML. L'amour, toujours l'amour (in French)                               BbI8946-1 30-6093 (F.257)
184b.FRIML. L'amour toujours l'amour(In French)                                 Bb18946-2 unpublished
185. SAINT-SAËNS. Aimons-nous! (in French)                                      Bbl8947 30-6096 (F.258)
186. BENAVENTE. Quand le coeur a parlé! (French)                                Bbl8948 30-6094 (F.257)
187. HERBERT. Zeg liefste! (Song of songs)                                      Bbl8949 30-3086 (AT. 21)
188. FRASQUITA: Schat ik bid u? (Schatz ich bitle)                              Bbl8950 30-6098 (F. 259)
189. ERWIN. Vier woorden heb ik u te (in Dutch)                                 Bbl8951 30-3088 (AT. 22)
190. DE MOYA. Oh mysterie zoet! (Sweet mystery) (in Dutch)                      Bbl8952 30-3087 (AT. 21)
191. NEEF.O! Scheldestad! (in Dutch)                                            Bbl8953 30-3089 (AT. 22)
192. NEEF. Ce sont tes grands yeux (in French)                                  BbI8954 30-6095 (F.258)
193. FREDERIKA: O Meisje, mein meisje! (O Mädchen) (in Dutch)                   Bbl8955 30-6097 (F. 259)
194. PAILLASSE (PAGLIACCI): Me grimer! (Vesti la giubba)                        (Unpublished)
I wish to thank Christian Torrent for the discography.
Nous avons bien connu Frans Morrisson le fils du célèbre ténor. Notre ami vouait une grande admiration à son illustre père et on peut le comprendre. Dès lors, les quelques étapes de la vie de Louis Morrisson nous sont retracés ici par la source la plus directe. C'est en 1888 que naît à Antwerp Louis Morrisson(Louis Moyson pour l'état civil). Comme souvent dans les carrières de chanteurs, c'est dans une chorale d'église (St Wilburge) que le futur ténor poussa ses premières notes. Il s'y appliquait de tel sorte qu'il commença rapidement a prendre des cours d'orgue auprès du réputé compositeur organiste Edgar Tinel. Des cours de contrepoint et fugue s'ensuivirent et c'est tout naturellement que cet éminent maître découvre chez lui une voix de ténor. Des éléments qui prouvent l'étude de la voix proprement dite, ne nous ont jamais été communiqué clairement. Toutefois, après un court séjour dans les chœurs de l'opéra flamand d'Antwerp,l'on retrouve le ténor engagé pour la saison 1909-1910 au Rembrandt Theater d'Amsterdam. Il y débute ni plus ni moins dans le rôle de Manrico du "Trovatore" à notre humble avis, à l'age de 21 ans, cela semble, si pas au suicide, au moins à la mission impossible. Cependant, le jeune Louis aboutit car Trovatore est suivi de Bohème, Huguenots, La Juive, Faust, Lucia, G. Tell, Werther, Mignon etc. etc., soit presque tout le répertoire de toutes les catégories de voix de ténor confondus. Nous frémissons à l'idée d'un tel poids sur d'aussi jeunes épaules. Cette (trop) rapide ascension lui ouvre les portes des studios d'enregistrement . En 1910 pour Favorite records,1911 pour Columbia,1913 pour Pathé. Les engagements se suivent de façon frénétique. La guerre de 1914-18 terminée, son chemin le conduit à Antwerp, Londres et d'autres villes anglaises. La France à son tour le réclame. Il y fait ces débuts dans Éléazar. Ensuite il entre à l'opéra comique en 1922, mais c'est surtout dans les théâtres de province qu'il interprète le répertoire de grand opéra qu'il lui semble dévolu. D'autres enregistrements suivent, cette fois pour la firme Homocord.En 1923 il est contacté par les dirigeants de H.M.V. pour une série d'enregistrements. De longues discussions au niveau des contrats s'en suivent et les premiers disques pour cette firme se réalisent beaucoup plus tard. Dommage, car Louis Morrisson meurt en 1934. Dommage surtout du fait que les meilleurs enregistrements de l'artiste se situent en cette période. La voix a mûrie et l'expérience de tant d'années de scène est indéniable. Les disques acoustiques de la première période nous dévoilent une belle voix certes, jeune solide, mais manquant manifestement de préparation et de maturité. Ceci dit,Louis Morrisson a été un ténor robuste, respectant ces contrats et donnant amplement ce que le public attendait de lui. Le 30 janvier 1934, après plusieurs semaines de grande souffrance, l'artiste s'éteint avant même d'atteindre sa 46ème année.

We were very friendly with Frans Morrisson the son of the famous tenor. Our friend maintained a great admiration for his illustrious father and one could well understand it. Consequently the details of the life of Louis Morrisson given here come from the most direct source. It was in 1888 that Louis Morrissson (real name Louis Moyson) was born in Antwerp. As in many singers careers, it was in a church choir (St. Wilburga) that the future tenor sang his first notes. He applied himself so seriously that he soon began to take organ lessons from the noted organist and composer Edgar Tinel. Courses on counterpoint and fugue followed on and it was quite natural that the eminent master should discover in Morrisson the voice of a tenor. The basic facts of his vocal training were never communicated to us clearly. However after a short spell as a member of the choir at the Flemish Opera in Antwerp, we find the tenor engaged for the season of 1909-1910 in the Rembrandt theatre in Amsterdam. He made his debut in the role of Manrico in Il Trovatore no less. In our humble opinion, at the age of 21 this seems, if not like suicide, then at least "mission impossible". However, the young Louis succeeded because Trovatore was followed by Bohème, Huguenots, La Juive, Faust, Lucia, G. Tell, Werther, Mignon etc. indeed almost the entire repertoire of all types of tenor mixed up together. We tremble at the thought of so much weight placed upon such youthful shoulders. This (too) rapid rise opened the doors of the recording studios to him. In 1910 he recorded for Favorite records, in 1911 for Columbia and in 1913 for Pathé. Engagements followed fast and furious. After the war of 1914-18 he went on to Antwerp, London and other English towns. France claimed him in turn. He made his debut there as Éléazar. Eventually he arrived at the Opera Comique in 1922, but it was in the provincial theatres that he interpreted the Grand Opera roles for which he seemed destined. After his travels in France he was welcomed in Spain, Italy, Switzerland and Germany. Further recordings were made for the firm of Homocord. In 1923 he was contacted by the directors of H.M.V. for a series of recordings. This project was only realized much later. This was a pity because Morrisson died in 1934. Above all it was a pity because his best recordings date from this period. The voice had matured and the experience of many years ion stage was unmistakable. The acoustic recordings of his first period certainly reveal a young, secure and beautiful voice but they lack evidence of preparation and maturity. That said, Louis Morrisson was a powerful tenor who gave good value and fulfilled the expectations of his public. On January 30th 1934 after several weeks of great suffering, the artist died without even reaching his 46th year.
Daniel MEYSMAN, traduction de Patrick BADE

Go Home