Roger, Gustave Hippolyte



Celebrated French tenor; born at La Chappelle St. Denis, near Paris. At the age of twenty-one he became a pupil of Martin and Morin at the Paris Conservatory, winning first prizes for singing and comic opera at the end of his first year, and in 1838 made a highly auspicious debut at the Opera Comique as Georges in Halevy's L'clair. After ten years of continuous success in light opera, during which he created many parts in new operas by the best dramatic composers of the day, including Auber, David, Boieldieu and Ambroise Thomas, he went over to the Grand Opera. His interpretation of the title role in Meyerbeer's Le prophete, 1849, was a veritable triumph, and his dramatic gifts were as evident in tragedy as in his previous light roles. During the next ten years he traveled frequently in Germany, where he was always favorably received, and after his retirement, again toured there and in France, reappearing at the Opera Comique in 1861, although his formerly attractive presence was marred by the loss of an arm, being accidentally shot while hunting in 1859. He turned his attention to teaching from this time, and in 1868 was appointed professor of singing in the Paris Conservatory, a position he retained till his death. Besides his public work, in which he appeared with such singers as Jenny Lind and Viardot, he translated librettos from German into French, and wrote an autobiography, entitled Le Carnet d'un tenor.