Lassalle, Jean


French barytone; born at Lyons. His father was a silk merchant and he intended following the same occupation, studying industrial design at the Beaux-Arts, Lyons, and later in Paris. Realizing that he was not fitted for a commercial position, he studied painting in Paris, but dropped this soon for singing. He entered the Conservatory, but left before long to study under Novelli. His debut was made in 1869, as St. Bris, on the stage at Liege. Following this he toured Lille, Toulouse, The Hague and Brussels. He remained in Brussels for the season of 1871, the next year making a successful appearance in Paris as Tell. He remained at the Opera for twenty-three years, becoming principal barytone on the retirement of Faure. During this time he made visits to London, Russia, Madrid, Milan, Vienna, Prague, Warsaw and to the United States. Possessing a beautiful voice, an actor of ability, and an industrious worker, Lassalle was one of the finest artists of his time. He was associated with the De Reszkes, they being called the French Trio. The three appeared in Covent Garden in 1878. Lassalle's parts include Don Juan; Pietro, in La Muette; Lusignan, in Reine de Chypre; Hamlet, 1885; and many others. In 1890 he played Escamillp, in Carmen, at the Opera Comique with Mesdames Galli-Marie and Melba and M. J. de Reszke, in aid of the Bizet Memorial. Beginning 1879 he played three seasons at Covent Garden Theatre with great success. Again, from 1888 to 1893, he played at the same theatre under Harris. In 1896 arfd 1897 he appeared in Germany. In 1901 he began to devote himself to teaching in Paris, and two years later was made a professor at the Conservatory.