Gounod: Faust. Valentin: John Charles Thomas. Wagner: Wilfred Engelman Siebel: Lucielle Browning Dirección musical: Sir Thomas Beecham. Nueva York, 30 de enero de 1943. Fotografía: John Charles Thomas como Valentin (traje de Maurice Renaud).
Acerca de Thomas y su Valentin, puede leerse la siguiente reseña en el libro de Paul Jackson "Saturday Afternoons at the Old Met" (p. 287):
"Singing his first Metropolitan Valentin on this afternoon is John Charles Thomas -it will be the last opportunity his enormous public will have to hear him in opera over the airwaves. A single Valentin in February (plus a tour performance in April) closes a Metropolitan career which numbered only thirty-five performances in New York and eighteen on tour over a period of ten years. He came late to the company, and his inmense popularity in the concert halls and radio shows limited his operatic appearances. Only fifty-one yeas old at his Met leave-taking, Thomas would continue to sing on the popular media for years to come. Certainly no call to retirement is sounded in his singing on this afternoon. And he is on his best behavior, endeavoring to meld his expansive vocalism and command of French style into a convincing entity. The familiar outpouring of tone and breadth of phrase are modified here and there to produce unexpected subtleties (the quiet close and loving caress to 'Reste là sur mon coeur' just before the aria). The image of radio popularizer and homespun cutup recedes, though he cannot resist a final show of vocal bravado by interpolating a super high A-flat at the aria's close. Thomas proclaims a noble defense as he crosses the devil, and here Beecham energizes the drama most effectively. The brief scene with Siebel, where Valentin learns of Marguerite's disgrace, strikes fire, and Pinza and Thomas meet on equal ground im the trio. The death scene is finely conceived as Thomas offers vocal grandeur free from realistic strangulation, thereby heightening the menace of the curse -a noble exit for the baritone, but lamentably too soon".
Watch videos with other singers performing Avant de quitter ces lieux:
VALENTIN Avant de quitter ces lieux, Sol natal de mes aïeux A toi, seigneur et Roi des cieux Ma sœur je confie, Daigne de tout danger Toujours, toujours la protéger Cette sœur si cherie! Délivré d'une triste pensée J'irai chercher la gloire, la gloire au seins des ennemis, Le premier, le plus brave au fort de la mêlée, J'irai combattre pour mon pays. Et si vers lui, Dieu me rappelle, Je veillerai sur toi fidèle, O Marguerite!
Avant de quitter ces lieux, Sol natal de mes aïeux, A toi, seigneur et Roi des cieux, Ma sœur je confie! O Roi des cieux, jette les yeux, Protège Marguerite, Roi des cieux!
English Libretto or Translation:
VALENTIN Before I leave this town, My forefathers' native place, To you, Lord and King of Heaven, Do I entrust my sister. I beg you to defend her From every peril, My beloved sister. Freed from this harrowing thought, I shall seek glory in the enemy's ranks, The first, the bravest, in the thick of the fray, I shall go and fight for my country. And if God should call me to his side, I shall faithfully watch over you, O Marguerite. Before I leave, etc. O King of Heaven, hear my prayer And defend Marguerite, O King of Heaven.