Alfred Galand

Alfred Galand sings À dame jolie (Codini)

Alfred Galand singsQuand l'amour meurt

As with so many French singers, the life and career of Alfred Galand (sometimes misspelled as Galland) has never been documented so far.

He was born in Dijon and studied voice in Paris; early in life, he sang regular concerts in Dijon with a concert society called "La Cécilienne", and I suppose that may have been even before his departure for Paris.

He started his career as a music hall singer: in the 1885/86 season, he was at the Éden-Concert in Paris, in 1886/87 at the Alcazar in Dijon.

His debut at the Opéra-Comique (on 20 February 1888 in Les amoureux de Catherine by Henri Maréchal) may well have been his very first operatic appearance; he also sang Wilhelm Meister, Gérald and Alfredo, and appeared in Esclarmonde at that theater, and stayed at least until late 1889. Next, he was a member of the troupe in Liège for three years, and then moved on to Gent.

He sang in Tours, Caen, Spa, Aix-les-Bains (July 1892, Manon and Mireille), Boulogne-sur-Mer, Arcachon, Marseille, Lille, Monte Carlo (1895, La favorite) and Toulouse. In those years, he already sang – somewhat surprisingly since that was far indeed from his usual repertory – Canio to great acclaim. In the summer season 1898 at the Casino in Dieppe, he won personal triumphs as Massenet's des Grieux, as Wilhelm Meister, Gérald, Don Ottavio and Sylvain (Les dragnons de Villars).

At the Grand-Théâtre of Marseille, where he was a particular favorite of the audience, he sang Araquil in La Navarraise in January 1900, and in March – another excursion from his standard repertory – his first Samson. In July 1900, he appeared as Gérald in Royan, to Lucette Korsoff's Lakmé. In November 1900, he made his debut at the Théâtre du Capitole in Toulouse as Faust, a few days later as Don José. In 1901, he was hugely successful as a member of the troupe in Laval. In February 1902, he appeared in Rouen for the first time. For the winter season 1902/03, he was engaged in Lyon, where his debut as Jean Gaussin in Massenet's Sapho was much acclaimed; he also sang Faust and des Grieux there, partnering Georgette Bréjean-Silver in all three operas. In April 1903, he sang Gérald in Montpellier. For the 1906/07 season, he was a member of the opera theater in Algiers; while in Algeria, he also appeared in Blida (Gérald, March 1907).

In 1910, he was again at the Théâtre du Capitole, where he sang Wilhelm Meister in January and Alfredo in March. In summer 1912, he was heard in Luchon and Nice as Canio, Faust and Rodolfo. In December 1913, he was the undisputed star of a series of Manon performances in Dijon.

His career was very long; throughout the 1920s, he sang frequently on the radio: mélodies, some sacred music and occasionally still some opera.

- L'art lyrique français
- Forgotten Opera Singers
- L'Avenir de la Mayenne, 2 November 1902
- Comoedia, 6 August 1912
- Le Dépêche, 9/15 November 1900, 26 January 1910 & 12 March 1910
- L'Écho de Jarnac, 22 July 1900
- Figaro, 24 September 1929
- Le Gaulois, 20 May 1924
- Le Matin, 13 April 1927
- Le Midi Artiste, 1 February 1902
- Le Monde Artiste, 22 March & 19 April 1903
- L'Ouest-Éclair, 13 April 1927
- Le Petit Caporal, 9 October 1889
- Le Petit Courrier, 25 May 1927
- Le Petit Marseillais, 14 January 1900
- Le Petit Provençal, 5 March 1900
- Le Phare de la Loire, 6 September 1925
- Le Progrès de la Côte-d'Or, 9 September 1886, 18 July 1892, 29 August 1898 & 16 December 1913
- Radio-Magazine, 22 September 1929
- Le Tell, 6 October 1906 & 13 March 1907
- La Vie Montpelliéraine, 26 April 1903
Picture source: Ipernity channel "OperaMania" (much recommended)

Many thanks to Anton Bieber for the recording of Quand l'amour meurt and the two label scans.

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