Berthelier, Jean-François (Philibert )
- Patrick O’Connor
(b Panissières, Dec 14, 1830; d Paris, Sept 29, 1888). French tenor . He made his début in Poitiers in 1849 as Fernand in Donizetti’s La favorite, but when the theatre closed he took to singing in local cafés-concerts. In 1855 he was engaged by Offenbach to be a member of the first company at the Bouffes-Parisiens, and was a great success in the opening performance, Offenbach’s Les deux aveugles; later he created several roles, including Paimpol in Une nuit blanche and Kokikako in Ba-ta-clan. He was then engaged for the Opéra-Comique where he created 12 roles, including those of Simplet in Gautier’s Le mariage extravagant, Aignelet in Bazin’s Maître Pathelin and Xailoun in Offenbach’s Barkouf.
Berthelier was credited with the discovery of Hortense Schneider, who became Offenbach’s greatest female interpreter, and with whom he appeared at the Palais-Royal in Jeune poule et vieux coq (1858). He later appeared at the Variétés, Renaissance, Nouveautés and Gaîté theatres in many roles, including Zappoli in ...