Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Jose Palet (Tenor) (Martorel, near Barcelona 1877 – Milan)


He studied at the Conservatory of  Barcelona with Juan Goula and debuted there in 1901 at the Teatro Liceo as Fernando in ‘’La Favorita’’ of Donizetti. He appeared first in Barcelona and Madrid, then came, however, to Italy. Here he sang among other things in 1913 at La Scala, as José in ‘’Carmen’’ and guested at the Teatro Costanzi in Rome and in other big theaters. In 1915 he appeared at the Teatro Nacional of Havana as Radames in ‘’Aida’’ (together with Juanita Capella, Maria Gay, Titta Ruffo and Gaudio Mansueto), in the following 1916-17 season he appeared in Havana as Enzo in ‘’La Gioconda’’ of Ponchielli, as Canio in ‘’Pagliacci’’, as Riccardo in Verdi’s ‘’Ballo in maschera’’ and as Cavaradossi in ‘’Tosca’’. In 1921 he guested in Madrid as Gérald in ‘’Lakmé’’ of Delibes with Maria Barrientos as a partner. In 1921 tour with the Scotti Opera Company through North America. In 1924 he helped at the Teatro Costanzi in Rome in the premiere of the opera ‘’Esvella’’ of Gino Robbiani, already in 1912 he took part at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples in the premiere of the opera ‘’Hoffmann’’ of Guido Laccetti. In 1927 he sang in the Italian opera in Holland as Raoul in ‘’Gli Ugonotti’’ of Meyerbeer. In the same year he guested in the festival of Verona as Radames in Verdi’s ‘’Aida’’. He lived later as a singing teacher in Milan.

Palet's records are relatively scarce. He recorded sides for Fonotipia in the first decade of the twentieth century and some for HMV in Barcelona before the outbreak of the war. The recordings are a mix of native works and Italian repertoire. The voice is robust and ringing in the upper register, reminiscent of other Spanish-schooled tenors such as Antonio Paoli and Miguel Fleta. He is a spinto tenor, occasionally pushing the voice to more dramatic realms. The two excerpts presented here showcase the power of the voice, but hardly a sensitive lyricism. There are times when the singing sounds forced, the bel canto lyricism or Donizetti's aria being somewhat lost. In spite of these observations however, it is evident that Palet possessed quite a powerful instrument which was capable of overpowering the early recording apparatus.

Chronology of some appearances

1904-1905 Parma Teatro Regio Lucia di Lammermoor with Nunzio Rapisardi (Lord   Enrico Ashton)
1905 Parma Teatro Regio Germania with Aurelio Viale (Crisogno)
1905 Parma Teatro Regio Mefistofele with Giovanni Scarneo (Mefistofele)
1910 Parma Teatro Regio Lucia di Lammermoor with Giovanni Polese (Lord Enrico Ashton)
1920 Parma Teatro Regio Concert with Augusta Concato
1926 Parma Teatro Regio Un ballo in maschera with Carlo Tagliabue (Renato)
1927 Parma Teatro Regio Lucia di Lammermoor with Victor Damiani (Lord Enrico Ashton)


Fonotipia, Milano 1905-09-09
Lucia di Lammermoor (Donizetti): Tu che a Dio spiegasti l'ali 39294 XPh 319

Fonotipia, Milano 1905-09-14
Ernani (Verdi): O sommo Carlo with Mario Sammarco and Irene de Bohuss 39300 xph324

Fonotipia, Milano 1905-09-18
Rigoletto (Verdi): Parmi veder le lagrime 39321 XPh 331
Faust (Gounod): Che fate qui, signori? with Mario Sammarco and Oreste Luppi 39297 XPh334

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