Georges Cathelat

13 February 1904 Paris – 31 December 1993 Saint-Pée-sur-Nivelle

He wanted to become an organist and studied as such at the Paris Conservatory. During his military draft, he studied singing at the Nantes Conservatory, then at the Paris Conservatory.

He possibly made his debut in Holland in 1930. He sang very few roles, his most important by far being Pelléas.

As Pelléas, he had serious international successes, including the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Amsterdam, ...

He was drafted again during the Second World War in 1939.

After retirement he lived in Paris.

Iphigénie en Tauride at Amsterdam Stadsschouwburg from 10 November 1930 as un Scythe, with Germaine Lubin, Martial Singher, José de Trévi, Louis Guénot/Jean Clavérie, Pierre Monteux
Acis et Galatée at Amsterdam Stadsschouwburg on 23 November 1933 with Louis Arnoult, Renée Mahé, Fred Bordon, René Hérent, Paul Cabanel, Pierre Monteux
Pelléas et Mélisande at Scheveningen Kurhaus on 26 July 1939 with Louis Guénot, Madeleine Vhita, Claude Got, Helen Dosia, Paulette Nathan, Willem van Sante, Ernest Ansermet

He made his debut in Iphigénie en Tauride singing un Scythe on 17 June 1931.

He made his debut as the King in Le roi bossu (by Elsa Barraine) on 17 March 1932. He sang also Pelléas.

San Francisco Opera
Pelléas et Mélisande on 19 October 1938 at the War Memorial Opera House, with Louis d'Angelo, Doris Doe, Carlton Gould, Jannine Micheau, Anne Jamison, André Ferrier, Erich Leinsdorf

Los Angeles
Pelléas et Mélisande in November 1938 at the Shrine Auditorium, with Louis d'Angelo, Doris Doe, Carlton Gould, Jannine Micheau, Anne Jamison, André Ferrier, Erich Leinsdorf

Metropolitan Opera
Pelléas et Mélisande on 7/13 March 1940, with Helen Jepson, John Brownlee, Alexander Kipnis, Doris Doe, Natalie Bodanya, Nicola Moscona, Erich Leinsdorf
The stage honors were clearly Mr. Cathelat's. His was a young, a very young Pélleas; trim, good looking, shapely of limb, and sufficiently romantic of bearing, at first excessively cautious of movement and later, rather surprisingly, precipitous. In the characterization was more than a touch of shyness and until the final scene it lacked any very compelling suggestion of inner fire or spirit. But this did not defeat the singer as an actor. What did handicap the actor as a singer was his lack of climactic tones for his admirably acted final scene. When Pélleas cried out to Mélisande for her lips, as Golaud came up from behind to slay him, his fragile voice gave little help. But it was generally of attractive quality – a light French timbre – and it was both supple and expressive in the greater part of the undulous Debussyan dialogue. One would hesitate to predict how the voice would stand up in even the Roméo sort of lyric singing.
Oscar Thompson, Musical America
1948 Pelléas et Mélisande

He recorded for Salabert.
Reference: Kutsch & Riemens

Georges Cathelat singsFaust: Salut, demeure

Georges Cathelat singsFortunio: J'aimais la vieille maison grise
Many thanks to Anton Bieber for the recording and label scan.
Picture source: Forgotten Opera Singers

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