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Charles Friant

Charles Friant

For the final issue of Volume 61 (2016) we devote the main article to a French tenor whose recordings are a marvel of style, elegance and refinement: Charles Friant. His name is now remembered only by record collectors and there may be some who are not familiar with his art. However, as this article will reveal, he is more than worthy of our attention. It was a career that was mainly limited to France and its environs, in common with many of his contemporaries, yet it was of the first importance at the Opéra-Comique, during which he created a number of roles.

His biography has been written by one of our most erudite of contributors, Robert Bunyard. Robert traces a career that was largely limited to lyric tenor roles, yet Friant also embraced some lirico-spinto parts, such as Werther, for which he was justly famous. The discography, by Paul Steinson, although not large, lists some surprisingly unusual recordings, from such operas as Prince Igor, May Night, Mârouf, Cléopâtre and L'Enfant Prodigue, in addition to the standard repertoire. The article is greatly enhanced by an appreciation of Friant's recordings by that great expert on the tenor voice, Alan Bilgora. Alan discusses Friant's voice, his art and points to the best of his recorded output.

Jeanette MacDonaldOur second article may surprise some of our readers. It is devoted to the operatic career of Jeanette MacDonald. And, indeed, she did enjoy a demonstrable operatic career, which she sought after the years of her greatest fame as a movie star. Our regular contributor John Banks writes, with what is very much a personal view, on the artist and her recordings, some of which he compares with those of more famous operatic colleagues. There is also a comprehensive discography, which reveals a surprisingly varied repertoire.

We also bring an appreciation of the recordings of Bernardo de Muro, written by Nicholas Limansky. Nick's excellent style and perceptive insights into singing are brought to focus on the great Sardinian heroic tenor and his impressive recorded legacy. Bernardo de Muro

In addition to our regular record and book reviews this issue also includes articles about Marchesi pupils, Eugenia Burzio and Luisa Tetrazzini. It promises to be a very full and fascinating one indeed.

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