Large role portrait lithographic caricature of Duprez as Arnold in Rossini's Guillaume Tell. Lithograph by Benjamin [Roubaud]. Gilbert DUPREZ.

Large role portrait lithographic caricature of Duprez as Arnold in Rossini's Guillaume Tell. Lithograph by Benjamin [Roubaud].

Paris: Aubert & Cie. [1842].

Image size 295 x 225 mm, sheet size 345 x 265 mm. On wove paper.

Duprez is depicted full-length, standing, with a comically oversized head, his mouth open wide in song.

With artist's signature to lower left, "Imp. d'Aubert & Cie." and bookseller's blindstamp "Bauger & Cie" to lower right, four-line poem beneath image.

The poem reads:
Duprez vous ouvre ici le gouffre d’où s’élance,
Un torrent d’harmonie à grands flots ruisselant.
La bouche en lui n’est pas ce qu’on eut fait immense,
Si le crayon pouvait peindre aussi le talent.

Published as part of the series Pantheon Charivarique, Acteurs, from the journal Le Charivari, with titling to upper margin.

From the collection of the distinguished American mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne (b. 1934).

Slightly worn and browned; very occasional foxing; small tear to upper left margin; remnants of early mount to verso.

Béraldi II, p. 35, no. 5. Arrigoni & Bertarelli 1397.

French tenor and composer Gilbert Duprez started his career in Italy, staring in a number of operas by his friend Donizetti, most notably that of Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor (1835). His first performance at the Paris Opéra was in Guillaume Tell, where: "His ‘chest’ C, in spite of the disappointment of Rossini, who compared it to ‘the squawk of a capon with its throat cut’, aroused wild enthusiasm and affected the taste of the public, who would listen to Guillaume Tell only when Duprez was singing." Sandro Corti in Grove Music Online. Duprez went on to create the title roles in Berlioz's Benvenuto Cellini (1838) and Donizetti's Dom Sébastien (1843), as well as Albert in Auber's Le lac des fées (1839), Fernand in Donizett's La favorite (1840), and Gaston in Verdi's Jérusalem (1847).

"Gradually he became the first great tenore di forza, despite a vocal tessitura limited in its lower range (as shown in his refusal to sing Pollione in Norma at Rome in 1834). In France he was praised as the first true Romantic tenor and for his excellent declamation and the smoothness of his canto spianato; but his acting style was said to be exaggerated. Presumably through forcing his voice, and also because of the great number of performances he gave during his years in Italy where he had to sing as many as six times a week, a decline set in early; Berlioz greatly admired him in the vigorous music of Benvenuto Cellini in 1838, though noting (Mémoires) that his voice had coarsened somewhat. The story of the famous tenor’s rise and fall in Berlioz’s Les soirées de l’orchestre is largely based on Duprez’s career. He composed a number of operas and his writings include L’art du chant (1845) and Souvenirs d’un chanteur (1880), a valuable account of his times and distinguished contemporaries." Sandro Corti in Grove Music Online

Benjamin Roubaud (1811-1847) was a noted French printmaker known for his caricatures. His series Panthéon Charivarique was originally published in the journal Le Charivari, then printed separately by Aubert in 1842.

"Horne had a voice of extraordinary range, rich and tangy in timbre, with a stentorian chest register and an exciting top... In concert she once achieved the feat of singing in a single programme Rossini arias and Brünnhilde’s Immolation Scene, proof of her exceptional versatility. Throughout her lengthy career she was an admired recitalist, singing lieder, mélodies, Spanish and American songs with equal aplomb." Alan Blyth in Grove Music Online.

Item #31386

Price: $350.00  other currencies

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