February 20th, 1906 Lyon - died April 23rd, 1999.
If “Faust” was not the very first performance I ever attended at the Paris Opera, it nevertheless served as a pretext over several years for frequenting the halls of the Palais Garnier. Villabella, Thill, Vergnes and occasionally Jobin and Rouquetty had given place to Jouatte (my first Faust) and to Noré and then to a French tenor of Italian descent called Raphael Romagnoni who in the course of a long career would become one of those “indispensable” and “always available” singers who are regarded as “pillars” of our Parisian opera houses.
Raphael Romagnoni was born on February 20th 1906 at Lyons, where after fruitful studies at the Conservatoire he made his debut at the Grand Theatre in 1931 in “Cavalleria Rusticana.” The success accorded to his beautiful voice with its generous top notes lead to many engagements in the provinces and North Africa until World War II.
In 1947 he was engaged by the “Reunion des Theatres Lyriques Nationaux”. In his first year at the Opéra, he sang Roméo, the Duke of Mantua, Mylio and Faust, a role that he took over several years with great success. There followed the creations at the Palais Garnier of “Jeanne au Bucher” in which he sang the role of Bishop Cauchon in all 93 performances with Claude Nollier and six times with Ingrid Bergman (Jeanne) and successively with Jean Vilar, Henry Doublier and Robert Vidalin (Frere Dominique) and of “Oberon” in which he sang Oberon from the premiere to the 67th and last performances. Later would come “Les Contes d’Hoffmann” in which he sang Hoffmann and at the end of his career Spalanzani.
Making his debut at the Salle Favart in 1947, he would sing Don José, Des Grieux, Werther, Gérald, Hoffmann, Nadir, Pinkerton, Torrido and the Rodolphes in “La Boheme” and “La Traviata”. Parallel with his Parisian activities, he took part throughout his career in tours of the big provincial towns and also abroad; Switzerland, Belgium, Holland, Greece, Brazil and Portugal.
Finally his frequent participation in radio broadcasts contributed to his popularity. He retired in 1971 and died in 23 april 1999.
In RA Format
| Raphaël Romagnoni sings||Siegfried: Nothung
In RA Format
I wish to thank Georges Cardol for the recordings.