Julien Leprestre

27 March 1864 Paris – 28 July 1909 Paris

Picture of Julien Leprestre
Leprestre was born in Paris and trained at the Conservatoire between 1887 and 1890 with the baritone Romain Bussine (1830–1899).

He made his debut in 1890 as Faust at the Théâtre des Arts in Rouen.

Leprestre was then hired by the Monnaie. While there, he took part in the world premiere of Jan Blockx's Maître Martin in November 1892. He also took part in the local premieres of Werther in January 1893 and L'attaque du moulin (1894).

Leprestre made his debut at the Opéra-Comique in September 1894 as des Grieux with Georgette Bréjean-Gravière.

Leprestre stayed at the Opéra-Comique for four seasons singing Wilhelm Meister, Vincent, Paul (in Paul et Virginie), Gérald (in Lakmé), Rodolphe (i.e. Alfredo), Nadir, Araquil, Mergy, Lorédan, ...

Leprestre sang in the Opéra-Comique premiere of Ninon de Lenclos by Edmond Missa (1895 and a fiasco for the composer). In 1897, he sang Georges in La vivandière with Marie Delna. In May 1896, he sang in Le chevalier d'Harmental (6 performances only). He sang José in 1895 and it was too heavy for him then, resulting in his having to take time off to recover. Yet he sang the role again in 1898, evidently with success, opposite Nuovina.

Massenet chose Leprestre to partner Emma Calvé in the world premiere of Sapho as Jean Gaussin, which was given on November 27th, 1897. Leprestre sang the 42 performances of the initial run save one, the eleventh, on December 29th, 1897 (the day Léon Carvalho died), for which he was replaced by Léon David.

Massenet mentions him briefly as Jean Gassin in his memoirs.

Yet the 1897/98 season, which marked the apex of Leprestre's career, was also his last at the Opéra-Comique, and the reasons why he left cannot be accounted for.

For the next four seasons Leprestre sang in the French provinces.

He was again in Paris during October 1903 when he took part in the premiere of Lucien Lambert's La flamenca as Torrès, set in Havana, at the Gaîté-Lyrique in the first season organized by Émile and Vincent Isola.

Not much is known after that. Four years later, on July 28th, 1909, Leprestre died of an unspecified disease at the age of 47. He was buried at the cemetery in the northeastern suburb of Les Lilas.
Reference: Marston Liner notes

Julien Leprestre sings Le jeu d'amour
In RA format
Odeon, Paris, June 1905
xP1693   Martha (Flotow): Lorsqu'à mes yeux                           36148
xP1695   Carmen (Bizet): La fleur                                     36217
xP1697   Rigoletto (Verdi): Comme la plume au vent                    36144

Odeon, Paris, July 1905
xP1730   Strophes (Marietti)                                          36218
xP1731   Bohème (Puccini): Que cette main est froide                  36199
xP1732   Cavalleria rusticana (Mascagni): Ô Lola, blanche fleur       36162
xP1733   Roméo et Juliette (Gounod): Ah! lève-toi, soleil	      36155

Odeon, Paris, November 1905
xP2123-1 Le jeu d'amour (Félicien Vargues)                            36414
xP2123-2 Le jeu d'amour (Félicien Vargues)                            36414
xP2138	 Dragons de Villars (Maillart): Ne parle pas                  36431
xP2139   Manon (Massenet): Ah fuyez, douce image                      36432
xP2141   Le voyage en Chine (Bazin): La Chine est un pays charmant    36423
Additions to the discography from Gesellschaft für historische Tonträger, Wien
I wish to thank Richard J Venezia for the recording.

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