Henri Legay

1 July 1920 Paris – 16 September 1992 Paris

Henri Legay sings Les huguenots: Tu l'as dit, with Geneviève Moizan
In RA format
He should never have sung that.
Henri Legay sings Mârouf: À travers le désert
In RA format

Henri Legay sings Les pêcheurs de perles: Je crois entendre encore
In RA format
His real name was Henri Guay. He studied voice in Paris and Brussels, and for a while, he was a singer-songwriter, performing his own songs at Paris cabarets, accompanying himself on the guitar – himself and others, by the way, including Edith Piaf and Yves Montand!!

He started then to sing operetta at the Théâtre Alhambra in Paris. In 1950, he got a contract at the Théâtre de la Monnaie, where he appeared in La fille de Madame Angot first, and then made his opera debut in the world premiere of Les cornes du croissant, a comic opera by Belgian composer Léon Stekke (25 January 1951). In 1952, he made his debuts at both the Paris Opéra (Damon in Les Indes galantes by Rameau) and the Opéra-Comique (Gérald). His career was mostly French: Marseille, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Lyon, Nantes, Nancy, Strasbourg, Nice, Rouen; abroad in Geneva, Lausanne, Gent, Antwerp, Liège, Algiers. He sang until the end of the 1970s.

His most important roles were Nadir, Wilhelm Meister, Massenet's des Grieux, Henry Smith (La jolie fille de Perth), Georges Brown, Armand (Les deux journées by Cherubini), Almaviva, Duca; but he also sang Gounod's Faust, Werther, Hoffmann, Alfredo, Belmonte and, at a later stage, Sigurd.

He was also a prolific composer (cf. his beginnings) and, after retiring, a stage director and a voice teacher.

Reference 1: Kutsch & Riemens, reference 2, reference 3, reference 4, reference 5 and picture source

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