Germaine Gallois

Germaine Gallois, originally uploaded by Truus, Bob & Jan too!.

French postcard by Olympia/S.I.P., nr. 194/18. Photo: Reutlinger, Paris.

Elegant and beautiful French soprano and actress Germaine Gallois (1869-1932) was in vogue during the Belle Époque till the late 1920's . She appeared on many portraits and photo cards.

Germaine Gallois was born in 1869. She was a student of Madame Paravicini, one of the major singing teachers of the late 19th Century. She made her debut at the Théâtre des Nouveautés, but she would appear, during her long career, at nearly all the theatres of Paris, even at the Moulin-Rouge. Her speciality was the waltz. Among her popular songs were the waltz 'Tout Passe' (1902) by Paul Gavault and Eugène Héros, music by Rodolphe Berger, and 'Sans aimer Ah! Peut-on vivre?' by Charles Nuitter, on music by Jacques Offenbach (from the operetta 'Les bavards').

In his book 'France Fin de Siècle' Eugen Weber states that Germaine Gallois never accepted a 'sitting' role. Sheathed by a corset that began under her armpits and ended close to the knees, two flat steels sprang in her back, two other along the hips, a cord between the legs maintaining the edifice that was held together by six metres of stay lace, she stood up, even during the intervals, from 8:30 P.M. to Midnight.

One of Germaine Gallois' most famous interpretations was Mademoiselle Lange in 'La fille de Madame Angot' (by Siraudin, Clairville and Koning, with music by Charles Lecoq). She presented the part at the Paris Opéra on 28 Apr 1912 during a Gala performance. Another famous part was her Venus in 'Isoline' by André Messager. She also created the role of Madame d'Epinay in the musical comedy 'Mozart' by Sacha Guitry, with music by Reynaldo Hahn in 1925, at the Théâtre Edouard VII in Paris. It was a pastiche of the composer’s early works to fit beside arias written for Yvonne Printemps in a travesty role as Mozart. The story concerns the fictional adventures of Mozart on a visit to the French capital. The following year the successful production was presented on Broadway. Germaine Gallois died in 1932, at age 56.

Sources: Du Temps des Cherisies aux Feuilles Mortes, Eugen Weber (France Fin de Siècle), Historic, BroadwayWorld.Com and Wikipedia.

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