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date: 20 September 2019

Wartel familylocked

  • Alexis Chitty,
  • Maurice J.E. Brown
  •  and Katharine Ellis

Extract

French family of musicians .

Alexis Chitty, revised by Maurice J.E. Brown and Katharine Ellis

(b Versailles, April 3, 1806; d Paris, Aug 3, 1882). Tenor and singing teacher . He was a pupil of Halévy at the Paris Conservatoire, which he entered in 1825, and shortly afterwards went to the Institution Royale de Musique Classique et Religieuse to study with Choron. He returned to the Conservatoire in 1828 to study singing with Davidde Banderali and Adolphe Nourrit, and was awarded the premier prix for singing the following year. He joined the Opéra in 1831 and remained there for around 12 years, singing major roles but never achieving star billing; Pitou argues that he was undervalued. He created the role of Don Gaspar in Donizetti's La favorite (1840) and sang Ottokar in the Berlioz version of Der Freischütz (1841). In 1833 he married the pianist Thérèse Andrien, and on leaving the Opéra he undertook a series of successful concert tours in Berlin, Prague and Vienna. After several years abroad, he returned to Paris and devoted himself to teaching singing and was considered one of the finest teachers in France; his pupils included Christine Nilsson, Mlle Hisson and, most notably, Zélia Trebelli. Wartel's repertory was unusually wide: his contact with Nourrit encouraged him to champion Schubert's music; he also sang 16th-century music in Fétis's Concerts Historiques (...

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