Michel Sénéchal

11 February 1927 Paris – 1 April 2018 Eaubonne

Sénéchal as Platée

Michel Sénéchal sings La dame blanche: Viens, gentille dame
In RA format
Sénéchal's career was a continuous mix of main and comprimario parts. He started singing as a boy contralto, in the Chapelle de Taverny choir, where he was already a soloist. After studies at the Conservatoire National in Paris, he had his first "adult" contract at the Monnaie in Brussels from 1950 to 1953. His first major successes came at the Aix-en-Provence festival, where he was a mainstay for no less than 23 years, singing Ferrando, Tamino, Don Basilio, Belmonte, Almaviva, Comte Ory, Vincent and notably Platée, which he sang at the 1956 festival for the first time – it was to become his most famous role.

From 1961, he was a member of the Paris Opéra-Comique (until 1963, and again from 1968 onwards), where he sang many of his Aix-en-Provence parts, plus Gérald, Orphée, Wilhelm Meister and Alfred (Fledermaus). From 1962, he also sang at the Paris Opéra – always as a comprimario, though, just like at the Met (1982–2005) and the Salzburg Festival (1972–88). As a guest, he sang a lot in Italy, including La Scala, in Amsterdam, Monte Carlo, Köln, Hamburg, San Francisco, Glyndebourne...

His career lasted into the 21st century, now exclusively in comprimario parts, of course. Already from 1980, he was head of the Paris Opéra's operatic school.

Reference 1 and picture source; reference 2: Kutsch & Riemens; reference 3

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