Mado Robin (Lakmé) Libero De Luca (Gérald Agnès Disney (Mallika) Jean Borthayre (Nilakantha) Claudine Collart (Ellen) Simone LeMaître (Rose) Chorus and Orchestra of the Opéra-Comique, Paris Georges Sébastian, conductor
Recorded July 1952 in the Maison de la Mutualité, Paris
This 1952 recording of Lakmé features a fine Francophone cast of the period led by the Hungarian-born conductor, Georges Sébastian, who eventually settled in Paris where he became chief conductor at the Paris Opéra, as well as appearing frequently at the Opéra-Comique and with the Orchestre National.
The great soprano Mado Robin made her début at the Paris Opéra in 1945 as Gilda, and gave her first performance as Lakmé, which was to become her most famous rôle, the following year at the Opéra-Comique. She enjoyed enormous popularity in France, where she was also a frequent broadcaster, her exceptional vocal range enabling her to sing a wide repertoire. She died in Paris in 1960, a few days before the 1,500th performance of Lakmé at the Opéra-Comique, arranged for her birthday.
This disc includes an Appendix of three Lakmé arias sung by French singers of the 20s and 30s.