Jean Planel's father was the son of a composer, Alphonse Planel; both he and his younger brother Robert studied at the
Conservatoire Supérieure in Paris, composition and chant – Robert eventually became a composer, Jean a singer (albeit
also he composed all his life).
Jean Planel spent his career primarily as a concert and radio singer. He was first tenor soloist at the Montmartre basilica in Paris,
and later at another Paris church, St-Pierre-de-Chaillot; he sang concerts with all three important philharmonic societies in
Paris, Lamoureux, Pasdeloup and Colonne, and he appeared throughout France, but also in London, Salzburg or Geneva. He was friends
with composers Darius Milhaud, Olivier Messiaen, Francis Poulenc, Gustave Charpentier and others, and he premiered several of their
works (notably Milhaud's three "Opéras-Minute", 1927 Baden-Baden, and 1928 Wiesbaden). On the radio, however, he would sing a
lot of opera and operetta, too, and in some instances also on stage, for example as Pierrot in the world premiere of Idylle
funambulesque by his brother Robert, 8 March 1934 at the Opéra-Comique.
When the Germans occupied Paris, he left the city and moved to Rennes first, then to Marseille; during the war, he gave concerts in
South-East France (Nice, Cannes) and Monte Carlo, and sang for the radio of the part of France that was, if not free, then at least
After the war, he returned to Paris and continued his singing career into the early 1950s, then he taught voice, first in Paris at
a training institution for future school teachers, then in Nice at the conservatory (1960–73). He wrote two books on vocal
Reference: Association Jean Planel