Edmond Clément

28 March 1867 Paris – 24 February 1928 Nice

Picture of Edmond Clément

Edmond Clément sings Lakmé: Fantaisie aux divins mensonges
He wanted to become an engineer before having his voice trained at the Conservatoire National, above all with Warot. He made his debut at the Opéra-Comique as Vincent in November 1889.

He was, very simply, the foremost French lyrical tenor of his time, with a limited top, but plenty of stylistic wisdom. He scored triumphs at the Opéra-Comique (where he sang for more than 20 years), in Monte Carlo, Brussels, London, at the Teatro Real in Madrid, was less successful at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City (more exactly, at their then second theater, the New Theater, 1909/10), and again a favorite with the audience in Boston (1911–13). In World War I, he volunteered in the French army, was severely wounded. After the war, he radically reduce his stage appearances; but he did sing on in concert until 1927. He was also a voice teacher.

His core repertory was purely lyrical: Don Ottavio, Ernesto, Almaviva, Georges Brown, Daniel (Le chalet), Tonio (La fille du régiment), Mylio (Le roi d'Ys), Fenton, Sentinel (L'attaque du moulin, which he premiered, Opéra-Comique, 23 November 1893), Ange Pitou (La fille de Madame Angot), Massenet's des Grieux. But he also sang Werther, Pinkerton, Gérald, Hoffmann, Fra Diavolo, and even Don José; plus lots of long-forgotten operas: La reine Fiamette by Xavier Leroux, L'éclair by Halévy, Paul et Virginie by Victor Massé, and the world premieres (all but one at the Opéra-Comique) of La vivandière by Godard (1 April 1895), Xavière by Théodore Dubois (26 November 1895), La fille de Tabarin by Henri Pierné (20 February 1901), Thérèse by Massenet (Monte Carlo, 7 February 1907), Le Juif polonais by Erlanger (11 April 1900), and Phryné by Saint-Saëns (24 May 1893).

Reference 1: Kutsch & Riemens, reference 2, reference 3, reference 4: Dead Tenors' Society Youtube channel

I would like to thank Thomas Silverbörg for the recording and picture.

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