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Georges Jouatte (Tenor)

Born: June, 17, 1892 - Monaco
Died: February 13, 1969 - Paris, France

The French tenor, Georges Jouatte, was the son of a brewer. To finance his studies, he appeared on stage at the Casino de Paris as a dancer. He completed his singing training in Germany.

After he had initially only appeared in the concert hall, Georges Jouatte made his stage debut in 1932 at the Théâtre Mogador in Paris. Retraining as a tenor by Paul Cabanel and Louis Fourestier. In 1934 he came to the Grand Opéra of Paris (inaugural role Charles Gounod's Faust). He had great success at this theater in 1936 as an Italian singer in Der Rosenkavalier by R. Strauss at a performance in the presence of the composer. At the Grand Opéra he was estimated mainly for his Florestan in Fidelio, Admete in Alceste by Gluck, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Erik in The Flying Dutchman (1937), Ulysses in Penelope by Gabriel Fauré and Armal in Gwendoline by E. Chabrier.

Since 1937, Georges Jouatte was also a member of the Opéra-Comique in Paris, where he introduced himself as Belmonte in Entführung aus dem Serail and then in Monteverdi's Incoronazione di Poppea. This was followed by tours of the artist in Austria and Italy. At the Covent Garden Opera he was heard in 1937 as Admete in Alceste by Gluck; at the Salzburg Festival in 1933 and 1936 in concerts; at the Montreux Festival he sang the tenor solo in Verdi's Requiem conducted by Bruno Walter. In 1946, he sang Tamino in W.A. Mozart's Die Zauberflote in his farewell performance at the Opéra-Comique. He sang Énée in a November 22, 1951 abridged radio broadcast of Berlioz' Les Troyens from Salle Erard, Paris, conducted by Henri Tomasi

At an early stage Georges Jouatte also appeared as an actor in movies; in 1923 in the German film Land ohne Frauen (Country Without Women) starring Brigitte Helm, and Conrad Veidt. Most recently he worked as a teacher in Paris; the major soprano Régine Crespin was his pupil.

Recordings: on the labels Odeon and Pathé; He was the Faust in Berlioz's La Damnation de Faust in the first complete recording of the work, made in Paris in 1942 under Jean Fournet for Pathé-Marconi during the occupation. It was in this role that Jouatte had made his debut at the Opéra in 1935. This recording has seen various LP and CD incarnations, the most recent that on Dante/Lys where it is coupled with the 1943-1944 Fournet recording of Berlioz's Grande messe des morts, wherein Jouatte sings the tenor solo. In 1948 he was again the Berlioz Faust in the broadcast on Radio France under Albert Wolff with Orchestre et Choeurs Radio-Lyrique. This has been released on some pirate labels and was also available directly from Radio France. These recordings, both with great authentic francophone casts remain amongst the most important Berlioz recordings. Well-known and easily available is L.v. Beethovenís Symphony No. 9 conducted by Serge Koussevitzky where the tenor part is sung by Jouatte (along with Janine Micheau, Solange Michel and Charles Cambon).

Source: Operissimo Website, English translation by Aryeh Oron (September 2011); CHARM Website
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (September 2011); Yoël L. Arbeitman (September 2011: info on recordings & Photo 01; July 2017)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Jean Gitton


BWV 243

Links to other Sites

Recordings by Georges Jouatte (CHARM)

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