Charles Morati

30 June 1875 Alger – 1956 Buffalo?

Picture of Charles Morati
A French record dealer once spread the rumour that Morati died during the First World War as the singer had disappeared from view in France.

He could not have been more wrong. Morati stayed in the US. He seems to have settled in Buffalo, New York. On January 14th, 1914, he declared his intention to become a US citizen. On April 14th, 1917, he petitioned to become a US citizen. He finally became one on July 17th, 1917.

At that time he seems to have given mostly concerts.

In The papers of Will Rogers: From vaudeville to Broadway, he is described as a member of a Basque Grand Opera Quartet.
In 1914, he was taking part in a concert in Buffalo (Buffalo NY Courier 1914).
In 1918, he was venturing into vaudeville (The Telegram, April 7th, 1918).
Same thing in Oregon (The Sunday Oregonian, September 1st, 1918); and in San Antonio (San Antonio Evening News, January 11th, 1919): "Lovers of music will visit their mecca during the coming week as Charles Morati, the celebrated French tenor, will let forth his golden notes during the course of an act called Art and stupidity."

In 1942, we find him working in a plane factory to fight the Germans (The Courier-Mail Saturday 13 June 1942).

Algiers Opéra, 1904
Paris, Opéra-Comique
Cavalleria rusticana on October 7, 1904 with Cazaux, Mme Duchène (Lucia), Mme Vallandri (Lola)
Also sang in La traviata.

Bruxelles, Monnaie
Season 1906/07
Les amaryllis on February 8, 1907 with Mme Korsoff, Mme Bourgeois, Sylvain Dupuis (total 8)
Prodaná nevěsta on February 27, 1907 with Belhomme, Dua, Danlée, François, Caisso, Delaye, Mme Korsoff, Mme Eyréams, Mme Bourgeois, Mme Paulin, François Rasse (total 6)
Season 1907/08
Fortunio on January 4, 1908 with Declery, Bourbon, Dua, La Taste, Caisso, Dorgeles, Delaye, Mme Grenville, Mme Symiane, Mme de Bolle, S. Dupuis (total 6)
Season 1908/09
Katharina on February 27, 1909 with Lestelly, Petit, Artus, Galinier, Hiernaux, Nandès, La Taste, Delaye, Delrue, Colin, Mme croiza, Mme Bourgeois, Mme Lucey, Sylvain Dupuis (total 17)
Lakmé with Mme de Tréville, de Clery;
Werther with Mme Sylva, Mme Eyréams, de Clery, Belhomme

Spa, 1908

Nice, 1910
La glu on January 26 with Claire Friché, Geneviève Vix (total 8)

New Orleans
Prior to the start of the season "L'Abeille" reported on some of the artists engaged. Morati, born 3 July 1880 in Paris, had studied at the Conservatoire under Edmond Duvernay and with Melchissédec. He had sung in Bordeaux (Damnation de Faust), at the Monnaie, and in Nice for one season where he sang Pinkerton. His debut came at a matinee performance of "Manon", 27 Nov 1910, in the role of des Grieux. "L'Abeille" (29 Nov 1910): "impossible to find a more charming des Grieux..." "L'Abeille" generally liked him, the English language papers less so. Apparently he had some health problems while here as well – perhaps our damp winter climate ??

29 Nov - Faust
6 Dec - Don José
10 Dec - Alfredo
15 Dec - Nicias
24 Dec - Nicias
29 Dec - Nicias
1 Jan - Don José (matinée)
10 Jan - Jean (in "Hérodiade"
21 Jan - Faust
22 Jan - Jean (matinée)
28 Jan - Nicias
31 Jan - Gérald ("Lakmé")
16 Feb - Rodolfo ("Bohème)
12 Feb - Rodolfo (matinée)
19 Feb - Faust (matinée)
20 Feb - Alfredo
2 Mar - Gérald
3 Mar - Don José
4 Mar - Nicias

The season ended on 5 March 1911. "L'Abeille" reported that the troupe had departed the morning of 7 March 1911 for Mobile, Alabama where they would open a brief season with "La bohème". No word on whether Morati might have sung Rodolfo in that performance or what else they staged in Mobile. From Mobile they were to visit other cities – mentioned were Louisville, KY; St. Louis, MO; Washington, DC; and the tour would end in Canada in May after which the entire troupe would depart from New York and return to France. So presumably Morati went along on this tour of over two months.
Not only did Morati change his date of birth from 1875 to 1880, but also confused everybody by using the first name André. He also claimed to have sung Faust in "Damnation de Faust" 32 consecutive times !! He originally had been mentioned as coming to New Orleans with the French opera troupe in the 1903/04 season. "L'Abeille" on 11 August 1903, when listing the artists who had been signed, included Morati and identified him as a laureate of the conservatoire "this year". He didn't come, and there was no further mention of him by the time the season began later that year.
I wish to thank Jack Belsom for the New Orleans information.
References: Jules Salès: Théâtre Royal de La Monnaie; Le Petit Ni&ccedeil;ois, Le Guide Musical, Europe Artiste, Albert Soubies: Almanach des spectacles; S. Wolff: Opéra-Comique.

Charles Morati singsIl trovatore: Misérère
In RA format

Columbia cylinders, Paris 1902/1903
25778  Aida (Verdi): Ô céleste Aïda                                             25778
25779  Africaine (Meyerbeer): Ô paradis                                         25779
25805  Faust (Gounod): Salut demeure                                            25805
25810  Favorite (Donizetti): Ange si pur                                        25810
25831  Huguenots (Meyerbeer): Plus blanche que la blanche hermine               25831
25843  Juive (Halévy): Rachel, quand du Seigneur                                25843
25868  Rigoletto (Verdi): Comme la plume au vent                                25868
25888  Tannhäuser (Wagner): Romance à l'étoile                                  25888
25893  Trovatore (Verdi): Misérère                                              25893
25915  Carmen (Bizet): Air de la fleur                                          25915
25936  Dragons de Villars (Maillart): Ne parle pas, Rose                        25936
26026  Si j'étais roi (Adam): J'ignore son nom                                  26026

Emerson, USA 1917?
2475-1 Pagliacci (Leoncavallo): Vesti la giubba                                 7167 (7")
2531   L'Africaine: Ô paradis                                                   7182 (7")
2579=2 Adorable toruments                                                       7217 (7")			 
2484-2 Pour un baiser                                                           7218 (7") 
2485=3 Obstination                                                              7229 (7")					 
2620-1 Martha (Flotow): M'appari tutt'amor                                      7247 (7")
2659-2 Manon (Massenet): Ah fuyez, douce image                                  7247 (7")
2727=3 Deliverance                                                              7271 (7")

XP2778 Roméo et Juliette: Grand air                                             36824
XP2779 Sigurd:Grand Air                                                         36825
I want to thank Carlo Ciabrini for the portrait.

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