Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Part II of a Very Limited Series

In the ongoing series of Pictures of Francophone Tenors of a Bygone Era Who Like[d] Cats....

A very happy 105 to Hugues Ceunod. I don't really know his stuff, so I'll let you wax enthusiastic, if you adore him. My hat is simply off to him for landing a boyfriend who's like forty years younger than him. Not that I'd want to date someone who's negative seven years old, mind you. It just seems like an accomplishment.


Willym said...

Hard to believe. I saw him several times a Glyndebourne - probably the most memorable being the first Calisto in I believe 70 or 71. It was a wonderful performance - Leppard's arrangement was a little fussy but it was being sung by Janet Baker as both Diana and a hysterically funny Jupiter in drag as Diana, James Bowman as her Shepherd lover, Ilena Cortubas as Calisto, Janet Hughes as a bare-breasted (chested?) Satyr and Cuenod as an elder virgin Nymph in Diana train who loses her virginity to the horny little satyr. At 6' he towered over everyone and sang beautifully with incredible diction - and he must have been in his later 60s at the time. Directed by Peter Hall the whole production was a delight from first harp glissando until Calisto ascended into heaven to become Ursa Major. I still treasure the Argo recording.

His Basilo on both the Aix and Glyndebourne Figaros are great character studies but he never forgets that he is a singer.

Bonne fete Hughes.

Anonymous said...

His recording of Satie's Socrate on Nimbus is still the most beautiful of the many versions I know.

jondrytay said...

I'm a couple of days too late, but I'd like to add my voice to the bonnes fetes. Marrying one's boy on one's 105th strikes me as the coolest thing anyone has done ever.

As is making a Met debut at 85, of course. Anyone know if there's a vacancy for a Bassa Selim in the 2058/59 season? I promise to mug up my German in the meantime.

Will said...

I have lots of his performances on LP. An unfailingly elegant singer, very Grand Seigneur without being stuffy or remote, just astonishingly refined and clear. He seemed to be having a really great time of it during his stage roles and that, of course, is incredibly important.

I can't believe it's two decades since his MET debut in TURANDOT. Whoever came up with that casting deserves a medal and a kiss on both cheeks.

On Stage And Walls said...

I knew the late Geoffrey Parsons, who was the accomapnist for several of Cuenod's Nimbus recordings in the 1970s and he talked of the man's incredible insight into so many songs that had fallen into neglect. Cuenod's long breathed phrases in the Faure and Duparc melodies are magnificent.

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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