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Obeissons quand leur voix appelle

Opera details:

Opera title:

Manon

Composer:

Jules Massenet

Language:

French

Synopsis:

Manon Synopsis

Libretto:

Manon Libretto

Translation(s):

English Deutsch

Aria details:

Type:

aria

Role(s):

Manon Lescaut

Voice(s):

Soprano

Act:

3.09

Previous scene: Je marche sur tous les chemins
Next scene: Profitons bien de la jeunesse

100 Singers - GERMAINE FÉRALDY

Singer(s): Victoria de los Ángeles Janine Micheau Beverly Sills Ninon Vallin Natalie Dessay Fanny Heldy Mady Mesplé

Germaine Féraldy, Soprano (1894-1949)
Jules Massenet MANON
Je marche sur tous le chemin... Obéissons quand leur voix appelle (Gavotte)
Conducted by Élie Cohen
Recorded 1928

My personal opinion: With only three complete opera recordings, the Toulouse born soprano Germaine Féraldy made herself an advocate for French music style in the interwar period. She sang Charlotte's easygoing sister Sophie in Massenet's WERTHER with Georges Thill and Ninon Vallin, and a very loveable Eurydice next to Alice Raveau in Gluck's ORPHÉE. Her most important part was Massenet's MANON, recorded 1928 under the baton of Élie Cohen (also the conductor of WERTHER). It was the second complete MANON for the grammophone, the first was produced six years earlier with Fanny Heldy and Jean Marny, who sang a fine but campy Des Grieux. Féraldy's partner was the Russian tenor Joseph Rogatchevsky, whose timbre was a little bit avuncular. Even so it is a very authentic reading of MANON, the most French of all French operas. The recording evokes the ghost of a bygone era. This is clearly recognizable when in Act I the aging rake Guillot appears with De Brétigny and the three girls. A babbling begins, an indignant complaint: Where is the inkeeper? All run around like headless chicken... All this is presented as vivid as real life. Germaine Féraldy as Manon appears and brings along the right vocal physique du rôle. "Je suis encor tout étourdie, je suis encor tout engourdie..." is the gesture of proper innocence. Later, in Act II, her expression has a different color: She recites the letter of Des Grieux to his stern father very sober, almost disinterested. Already in the intimate togetherness of the second Act, this Manon knows, it can't go on like this - a richer lover is needed. Act III shows a completely changed Manon: In the 'Cours-la-reine' scene (boisterous presented as the carnival in Marcel Carné's LES ENFANTS DU PARADIS), Féraldy sings the famous Gavotte with the voice of a matured woman; serene, appreciative and beyond all measure coquettish. This transformation was shown resp. sung by no other soprano on records more credible; not even by such superb artists like Janine Micheau, Victoria de los Angeles and Beverly Sills.
Féraldy's enchanting soprano voice was somewhere between Fanny Heldy and Nino Vallin. Biographical data are hard to find... All I know is that she was born 1894 in Toulouse and died 1949, only age 55. She studied at the Toulouse Conservatory and at the 'Conservatoire National de Paris'. She made her debut as Violetta in Verdi's LA TRAVIATA at the age of 26 in a French theatre in the province. She came to the 'Opéra-Comique' in Paris in 1924 and remained there until 1942 as a member of the ensemble. Her repertoire included coloratura and lyrical roles: Manon, Marguerite in Gounod's FAUST, LA TRAVIATA, Rossini's Rosina (in the 'leggero' version for a high soprano), LAKMÉ, Philine in Ambroise Thomas' MIGNON, Mozart's Countess in LE NOZZE DI FIGARO and Pamina in DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE, naturally sung in french. She was a guest at the opera houses of Nice, Monte Carlo, Brussels and London. The first recordings were made in 1926, one year after the introduction of the ELA-sound-technology. Her voice was very 'phonogenic', the microphone loved her. Antonia's "Elle a fui" from Offenbach's HOFFMANN documented her girlish sound as well as the demonic duet with Dr. Miracle, sung by Louis Guénot (Comte des Grieux in the MANON recording). But it is precisely those girlishness that irritates me in her singing of the Countess' "Dove sono" from Mozart's NOZZE. For my taste the voice is too glassy (and Mozart in French is also peculiar...). With the 'Bell-Song' from Delibes' LAKMÉ, Germaine Féraldy was much more in her very own domain - those of a typical high French coloratura soprano. The fireworks of lightning-fast staccati is more pleasant to hear as the vocal pyrotechnics of a Mady Mesplé or Natalie Dessay.
To prevent misunderstandings: Germaine Féraldy, with her soubrette-like easyness and coloratura like Brussels lace, was not a soprano from the rank of Fanny Heldy, who has made a more significant career (including Mélisande under Arturo Toscanini in Milan). But the voice of Féraldy had less 'acidic sharpness', described by the highly regarded opera expert and artistic director Michael Scott as "vinegar in the head-register". The MANON recording is furthermore a good example for a first-class ensemble work under a conductor (Cohen), who brought the score to life based on the natural sound of the French language. André Cluytens did the same in his first recording of LES CONTES D'HOFFMANN. Both recordings are highly recommended for every lover of French opera.

Watch videos with other singers performing Obeissons quand leur voix appelle:

Libretto/Lyrics/Text/Testo:

MANON
Obéissons quand leur voix appelle,
aux tendres amours,
toujours, toujours, toujours,
tant que vous êtes belle,
usez sans les compter vos jours, tous vos jours!
Profitons bien de la jeunesse,
des jours qu'amène le printemps;
aimons, rions, chantons sans cesse,
nous n'avons encor que vingt ans!

BRÉTIGNY et JEUNES GENS
Profitons bien de la jeunesse!

MANON
Profitons bien de la jeunesse,
aimons, rions, chantons sans cesse,
nous n'avons encor que vingt ans! Ah! Ah!

JEUNES GENS
Profitons bien de la jeunesse!
Rions! Ah! Ah!

MANON
Le cœur, hélas! le plus fidèle,
oublie en un jour l'amour, l'amour,
et la jeunesse ouvrant son aile a disparu
sans retour, sans retour.
Profitons bien de la jeunesse,
bien courte, helas ! est le printemps!
Aimons, chantons, rions sans cesse,
nous n'aurons pas toujours vingt ans!

JEUNES GENS
Profitons bien de la jeunesse!

MANON
Profitons bien de la jeunesse!
Aimons, chantons, rions sans cesse,
profitons bien de nos vingt ans! Ah! Ah!

JEUNES GENS
Profitons bien de la jeunesse!
Rions! Ah! Ah!

English Libretto or Translation:

MANON
Obey when their voices are calling,
beckoning us to tender loves,
always, always, always;
as long as you are beautiful,
use up your days without counting them, all of your days!
Let's take advantage of youth,
days that spring provides;
let's love, laugh, and sing without stopping,
while we're still only twenty!

BRÉTIGNY and YOUNG NOBLEMEN
Let's take full advantage of our youth!

MANON
Let's take full advantage of our youth,
let's love, laugh, and sing without stopping
while we're still only twenty! Ha! Ha!

YOUNG MEN
Let's take full advantage of our youth!
Let's laugh! Ha! Ha!

MANON
Even the most faithful heart, alas,
forgets love in a day, love,
and youth, spreading its wings to fly away,
disappears, never to return, never to return.
Let's take full advantage of our youth,
the springtime season, alas, is very short!
Let's love, sing, and laugh without stopping,
we won't be twenty forever!

YOUNG MEN
Let's take full advantage of our youth!

MANON
Let's take full advantage of our youth!
Let's love, sing, and laugh without stopping.
Let's take advantage of being twenty! Ha! Ha!

YOUNG MEN
Let's take full advantage of our youth!
Let's laugh! Ha! Ha!

Sheetmusic in our database with this aria

G. Schirmer Opera Anthology: Arias for Soprano Volume 2G. Schirmer Opera Anthology: Diction Coach Arias for Soprano Volume 2Operatic Anthology: Soprano