Marcoux, Vanni(actually, Jean Émile Diogène)

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Marcoux, Vanni(actually, Jean Émile Diogène)

Marcoux, Vanni(actually, Jean Émile Diogène), remarkable French bass-baritone who was also known as Vanni-Marcoux; b. Turin (of French parents), June 12, 1877; d. Paris, Oct. 22, 1962. He received training in law at the Univ. of Turin, and in voice from Taverna and Collino in Turin and from Boyer in Paris. He was only 17 when he made his operatic debut in Turin as Sparafucile. His formal operatic debut followed in 1899 when he sang Frère Laurent in Roméo et Juliette in Bayonne. After singing in Nice, Brussels, and The Hague, he distinguished himself at London’s Covent Garden (1905–12). In 1908 he made his debut at the Paris Opéra as Méphistophélès. On Jan. 13,1909, he created the role of Guido Colonna in Févriers Monna Vanna there. Massenet composed the title role of his opera Don Quichotte for Marcoux, who sang in its first Paris staging on Dec. 29, 1910. He appeared as a guest artist at Milan’s La Scala (1910), the Boston Opera Co. (1911–12), and the Chicago Grand Opera Co. (1913–14). From 1918 to 1936 he was a principal member of the Paris Opéra-Comique. He also sang again in Chicago (1926–32) and at Covent Garden (1937). From 1938 to 1943 he taught at the Paris Cons. In 1940 he retired from the operatic stage, although he made a final appearance as Don Quichotte at the Opéra-Comique in 1947. From 1948 to 1951 he served as director of the Grand Théâtre in Bordeaux. Marcoux’s outstanding repertoire consisted of over 240 roles, of which the most famous were Don Giovanni, Rossini’s Don Basilio, lago, Boris Go-dunov, Baron Ochs, Golaud, Scarpia, and Don Quichotte.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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