|Year of Birth:||1924|
Gabriel Bacquier (born 17 May 1924) is a French operatic baritone. One of the leading baritones of the 20th century and particularly associated with the French and Italian repertories, he is considered a fine singing-actor equally at home in dramatic or comic roles.
Gabriel Bacquier was born in Béziers, France and as a child was fascinated by everything to do with singing — records, broadcasts and photos of singers. After beginning studies in Montpellier as a commercial artist, and doing national service on the railways during the Occupation, he found a singing teacher, took classes at the Music School and in 1945 entered 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. There he sang both the French repertory, opera (Faust, Lakmé, Manon, Werther) and operetta (Angélique, La belle Hélène, Les Cloches de Corneville, Miss Heylett, Monsieur Beaucaire); as well as Puccini (La Boheme, Madame Butterfly), the Barber of Seville and the Bartered Bride.
He made his debut at the Opéra-Comique in 1956, as Sharpless in Madama Butterfly, and at the Palais Garnier in 1958, as Germont in La traviata, followed by the Aix-en-Provence Festival in 1960, as Don Giovanni. The same year he stood in at short notice to sing Rigoletto at the Paris Opera leading to his engagement at that house, making his debut proper there in Tosca opposite Renata Tebaldi. That was the start of his international career. He was invited at the Glyndebourne Festival in 1962, as Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro. From 1963, Bacquier sang regularly at the Vienna State Opera and La Scala Milan. From 1964 he appeared at the Royal Opera House in London, where roles included I puritani (1964, Sir Richard Forth), Le nozze di Figaro (1965, Count Almaviva), Tosca (1966, Baron Scarpia), Don Pasquale (1973, Doctor Malatesta), Il barbiere di Siviglia (1975, Doctor Bartolo) and Pelléas et Mélisande (1982, Golaud), as well as a televised Royal Silver Jubilee Gala in 1977.