Jean Barrès

1925 or 1926 Marseille – 25 July 1964 near Roanne

Picture of Jean Barrès

Jean Barrès singsMireille: Ô Magali, with Andréa Guiot
In RA format
Born Jean Baurès, he studied both voice and painting in his native Marseille. (Painter was to become, and to remain, his second vocation; also while singing professionally, he had exhibitions of his paintings.)

He started his career in the French provinces, before arriving at the Paris Opéra-Comique, where he was successful as Vincent in Gounod's Mireille – his signature role. In 1961, he became a member of the Opéra, where he sang Alfredo, Valère (Les Indes galantes), Tybalt (a role that he also sang at the Orange Festival in July 1963), the First Prisoner (Fidelio) and Arturo (Lucia di Lammermoor).

He participated in at least two world premieres: L'Atlantide by Henri Tomasi (Mulhouse, 26 February 1954), and Sardanapale by Jean-Jacques Grunenwald (Monte Carlo, 25 April 1961).

He died in a car accident when heading home to Marseille, on the dreaded Route National no. 7. Barrès died on the spot, his travel companion, actress Jeanine Renaud, lost one leg.

Reference 1: L'Impartial, 25 July 1964; reference 2; reference 3; reference 4: Le Progrès, 1 August 2015; reference 5: Journal de Monaco, 1 May 1961

I wish to thank Claude Ribou for the picture.
I wish to thank Georges Voisin for the recording.

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