Laurent Grégoire

Laurent Grégoire singsGuillaume Tell: Asile héréditaire

Another of the great many French singers whose careers have never been researched so far.

He was born in Marseille, started singing at 17 years old, and studied voice at the Marseille conservatory – with Léon Escalaïs, among others.

The first appearances that I can find are some concerts organized by local associations in Marseille: in June and December 1922, and in November 1923.

Obviously, Grégoire was primarily a music hall singer in his early years. He appeared as such at the casino in Palavas-les-Flots in July 1925. In early February 1926, he was in Amiens and sang in Ganne's Saltimbanques at the local theater. Just a few weeks later, he belonged to the Folies-Bergères in Algiers, appearing in the revue "À la riche"; the troupe also moved to the casino of Oran in early July. Later the same year, the Théâtre Sarah-Bernhardt in Paris restaged a 1918 Sacha Guitry comedy, Deburau – originally a straight theater play, but for the restaging enriched with incidental music by André Messager. In that form, it was a world premiere at the Sarah-Bernhardt (7 October 1926). Grégoire played and sang the role of Clément.

On 5 June 1927, he took part in an open-air concert in Rennes, singing a duet from Mireille and a mélodie. In July 1928, he appeared in a new music-hall program at the Olympia in Paris. In August, another music-hall program at the casino in Geneva. In September, he sang at the Cigale cinema in Paris.

In March 1930, he appeared at the Marseille opera theater in Lorsque minuit sonna, an opera by the Belgian composer Jean Rogister premiered the year before. Whether it was in that opera or another, I don't know; but anyway, he made his opera debut in Marseille during that season. In December 1930 and March 1931, he was still in Marseille, in both instances singing Turiddu.

Most probably in the 1931/32 season, he appeared in Paris at the Gobelins and the Ba-ta-clan theaters – back to vaudeville, that is.

In summer 1932, it was back to opera again: he sang at the casino of Enghien-les-Bains, and immediately afterwards came to Mulhouse as premier ténor d'opéra-comique. When he sang Faust in October, his "pretty" voice was found to lack the necessary volume. He fared obviously much better in November, in La femme nue by Février. In 1933, he was again a member of the troupe in Marseille.

In February 1934, he sang at the Variété Vitus in Paris, stuff like "La puce et l'éléphant" (tango) or "Maritza" (valse). On 3 June 1934, however, he made his Opéra-Comique debut – as Canio!

It wouldn't seem to have been a great success – I found no further operatic appearances by Grégoire, neither at the Opéra-Comique nor elsewhere. On 9 June 1935, he took part in a mélodie and operetta concert on Radio Rennes, where he was not announced as a tenor but as a crooner. On 2 October 1937, another long variété program on Radio Rennes.

- Art Lyrique Français
- Choisir, 9 June 1935
- Colmarer Neueste Nachrichten, 20 August 1932
- Comoedia, 9 March 1931
- L'Écho d'Alger, 8 April 1926
- L'Express de Mulhouse, 4 October & 28 September 1932
- Journal de Genève, 11 August 1928
- La Liberté, 14 February 1934
- Le Ménestrel, 4 November 1932
- Monde, 23 September 1933
- Montpellier, hebdomadaire illustré, 1 July 1925
- L'Ouest-Éclair, 6 June 1927 & 2 October 1937 - Paris-Midi, 15 July 1928
- Le Petit Journal, 14 September 1928
- Le Petit Marseillais, 11 December 1922
- Le Petit Oranais, 28 June 1926
- Le Petit Provençal, 24 November 1923, 27 December 1930, 6/12 March 1931
- Le Progrès de la Somme, 3 February 1926


Polydor, Paris, June or July 1930
5439BKP	 Lygie (Joliot)						522294
5440BKP	 En-quatre-vingt-treize (Daniderff)			522294
5442BKP	 Guillaume Tell (Rossini): Asile héréditaire		522295
5443BKP	 Guillaume Tell (Rossini): Amis secondez ma vengeance	522295

Gramophone, Paris, May 1931
2G739-1	 Veni d'oussi (w. Paquy Desforges)			L885
2G740-2	 Magali (w. Paquy Desforges)				L885

Polydor, Paris, September 1932
5699BKP  L'Africaine (Meyerbeer): Conduisez-moi vers ce navire	522407
5700½BKP L'Africaine (Meyerbeer): Pays merveilleux		522407
2243BMP	 Faust (Gounod): Salut, demeure				516576
2244BMP	 Faust (Gounod): En vain j'interroge			516576

Ideal, Paris, under the name Lory Grégor
AN25	 Der Zarewitsch (Lehár): Veux tu?			12120
AN26	 Der Zarewitsch (Lehár): Reste auprés de moi		12120
AN760	 Rigoletto (Verdi): Qu'une belle			12574
AN761	 Rigoletto (Verdi): Comme la plume au vent		12574
AN1030	 Vieni, vieni (Scotto) (w. Lynel)			12729
AN1031	 Le beau Danube bleu (Strauß) (w. Lynel)        	12729
	 Cupidon roi (Borel-Clerc)				12584
	 Le loup de mer (Borel-Clerc)				12584
	 Reviens à Sorrente (De Curtis)				12875
	 'O sole mio (Di Capua)					12875

Pathé, Paris, 20 March 1934, under the name Lory Grégor
CPT1056  L'océan (Spencer)					PA167
CPT1057	 Le moulin de Maître Jean (Borel-Clerc)			PA167
	 Chargez (Mérelly)					PA168
	 L'homme rouge (Borel-Clerc)				PA168
I wish to thank Christian Torrent for the discography.

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