Gabriel Bacquier (2004)
(c) Remy Franck

French baritone Gabriel Bacquier died today, aged 96. He was one of the most famous French singers in the second half of the 20th century.Born in Béziers, France, in 1924 he studied at the Paris Conservatoire, graduating in 1950. He joined the opera company of José Beckmans from 1950 to 1952, and then became a member of La Monnaie in Brussels from 1953 until 1956.

He made his debut at the Opéra-Comique in 1956, and at the Palais Garnier in 1958. From 1963, Bacquier sang at the Vienna State Opera, La Scala in Milan and at the Royal Opera House in London.

Bacquier made his American debut at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in 1962, and sang at the Metropolitan Opera in New York two years later.

He retired from the stage in June 1994 as Don Pasquale at the Opéra-Comique.

He made a long list of recordings with John Eliot Gardiner, Julius Rudel, Otto Klemperer, Georg Solti, James Levine and Seiji Ozawa.

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