Garat, (Dominique) Pierre (Jean)

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Garat, (Dominique) Pierre (Jean)

Garat, (Dominique) Pierre (Jean), famous French singer and teacher; b. Ustaritz, Bas-Pyrenees, April 25, 1762; d. Paris, March 1, 1823. His talent was discovered early, and he studied theory and singing with Franz Beck in Bordeaux. His father wished him to become a lawyer, and sent him to the Univ. of Paris in 1782. However, he neglected his legal studies, and, aided by the Count d’Artois, he was introduced to Marie Antoinette, whose special favor he enjoyed up to the Revolution. He earned his livelihood as a concert singer; accompanied Rode, in 1792, to Rouen, where he gave numerous concerts before being arrested as a suspect during the Terror; subsequently he went to Hamburg. He returned to Paris in 1794, and sang (1795) at the Feydeau Concerts, where his triumphs speedily procured him a professorship of singing in the newly established Cons. For 20 years longer, his fine tenor-baritone voice, trained to perfection, made him the foremost singer on the French concert stage. Nourrit, Levasseur, and Ponchard were his pupils.

Bibliography

P. Lafond, G. (Paris, 1899); B. Miall, P. G., Singer and Exquisite: His Life and His World (London, 1913); I. de Fagoaga, P. G., le chanteur (Bayonne, 1944).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire