The Library of Nineteenth-Century Photography

Auguste Massol

Auguste Massol

The French baritone Eugène Etienne Auguste Massol, born 23 August 1802 in Lodère (Dep. Hérault), died 30 October 1887 in Paris.

According to his obituary, which appeared in The Times on 3 November 1887: ‘M. Auguste Massol, the French vocalist, died on Monday last at his residence near Paris. Born at Lodère (Hérault) on the 23rd of August, 1802, he had thus completed his 85th year. He entered the Conservatoire in 1823; was a pupil of Plantade and Bordogni; and obtained the first prize for singing in 1825. M. Massol made his début at the Paris Opera, November 11, 1825, in the rôle of Licinius in Spontini’s Vestal. Subsequently, and during a period extending over 30 years, he created a great number of leading characters in the operas of Rossini and Meyerbeer. Deceased was engaged in the first performances of Italian operas given at Covent Garden. His two favourite characters, both with opera-goers in London and Paris, were Nevers in Les Huguenots and Lorenzo in Masaniello. M. Massol’s last appearance on the occasion of his farewell benefit at the Opera-house in the Rue Lepelletier, was made under doubly dramatic circumstances. It was just before his memorable performance on the 14th of January, 1858, that Orsini attempted to assassinate the Emperor Napoleon III. The attempt was made as the Emperor and Empress reached the Rue Lepelletier, before going in the Opera-house. Their Majesties did not turn back, but entered the house, where they were received with the wildest enthusiasm. On quitting the operatic stage, M. Massol retired to the environs of Paris, where he resided until his death.’

Photographed by Disdéri of Paris.


Code: 123072
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