Arthur Descamps

1882 Pâturages –1948 Pâturages

Picture of Arthur Descamps

Picture of Arthur Descamps

I wish to thank Georges Cardol for the pictures.

Arthur Descamps sings Idéal

Arthur Descamps sings L'Africaine: Ô paradis
In RA format

Picture of Arthur Descamps

Biography

As a young man, he sang in choirs in his native city and also played the trumpet at various musical events. He was urged to study and, encouraged by Achille Tondeur, he studied with him at the conservatory in Mons. At Liège he studied with Adolphe Maréchal. He became a protégé of the older singer. He made his debut at the Monnaie in 1914. Early performances at Verviers included: Wilhelm in "Mignon" (26 November 1916), Des Grieux in "Manon" (23 November 1916), Werther and several concerts. He made his Liège debut singing with the company through 1918. His roles included: Rodolfo in "La bohème", Duke of Mantua in "Rigoletto", Jean in "Hérodiade", Marquis de Federia in "Le château de la Grande Breteche", Fernand in "La favorite", Pinkerton in "Madama Butterfly", Roméo in "Roméo et Juliette", Toinet in "Le chemineau", Don José in "Carmen", Alfredo in "La traviata", Zephirs in "Si j'étais roi", Canio in "Pagliacci", Gerard in "Lakmé", Faust, Vasco da Gama in "L'Africaine", Araquil in "La navarraise", Cavaradossi in "Tosca", Turiddu in "Cavalleria rusticana" and Loge in "Das Rheingold". He also sang at La Louvière and Namur and at the Théâtre des Galeries in Brussels, portraying Cavaradossi, Don José and Werther. In 1919 he was appearing in Marseille, Nice, La Louvière, Liege, and Mons, where he sang in "L'attaque du moulin", and in concert with the bass Pharaon Houx. From 1919-1921 at the Théâtre Royal Français in Antwerp he portrayed: Turiddu in "Cavalleria rusticana", Mylio in "Le roi d'Ys", Guassin in "Sapho", Pylade in "Iphigénie en Tauride", Pedrito in "La cabrera" and Enzo in "La Gioconda". He appeared there in latter seasons: 1922-1923 and 1924-1925 as a guest artist. in 1922 he sang at the Kursaal in Oostende. At Strasbourg he tackled several Wagnerian roles, all sung in French: Tannhäuser, Tristan, Parsifal, Siegmund and Loge. Later, he often gave recitals and concerts, appearing in Antwerp and most of the theatres in the south of Belgium. 1924 he underwent an operation to remove nodules from his vocal cords. Happily it proved to be successful and he resumed an active career shortly after the operation. He was noted for his clear diction and for the warmth and vibrancy of his voice.

Source: Isoldes Liebestod

Picture of Arthur Descamps

Repertory

La bohème – Liège, Pavillon de Flore et Trianon, 1916-1918
Rigoletto – Liège, Pavillon de Flore et Trianon, 1916-1918
Hérodiade – Liège, Pavillon de Flore et Trianon, 1916-1918
Le château de la Grande Bretèche – Liège, Pavillon de Flore et Trianon, 1916-1918
La favorite – Liège, Pavillon de Flore et Trianon, 1916-1918
Mignon – Verviers, 26 November 1916
Madame Butterfly – Liège, Pavillon de Flore et Trianon, 1916-1918
Roméo et Juliette – Liège, Pavillon de Flore et Trianon, 1916-1918
Le chemineau – Liège, Pavillon de Flore et Trianon, 1916-1918
Carmen – Liège, Pavillon de Flore et Trianon, 1916-1918
La traviata – Liège, Pavillon de Flore et Trianon, 1916-1918
Si j'étais roi – Liège, Pavillon de Flore et Trianon, 1916-1918
Paillasse – Liège, Pavillon de Flore et Trianon, 1916-1918
Lakmé – Liège, Pavillon de Flore et Trianon, 1916-1918
Manon – Verviers, 23 November 1916
Werther – Verviers, 11 January 1917
Faust – Liège, Pavillon de Flore et Trianon, 1916-1918
L'Africaine – Liège, Pavillon de Flore et Trianon, 1916-1918
La Navarraise – Liège, Pavillon de Flore et Trianon, 1916-1918
Tosca – Liège, Pavillon de Flore et Trianon, 1916-1918
Cavalleria rusticana – Liège, Opéra Royal, 1916-18
L'or du Rhin – Liège, Opéra Royal, 1916-18
Le roi d'Ys – Anvers, Opéra Royal, 1919/21
Sapho (Gaussin) – Anvers, Opéra Royal, 1919/21
Iphigénie en Tauride (Pylade) – Anvers, Opéra Royal, 1919/21
La cabrera (Pedrito) – Anvers, Opéra Royal, 1919/21
La Gioconda – Anvers, Opéra Royal, 1919/21
L'attaque du moulin – Anvers, Opéra Royal, 1919/21
Henri VIII – Vichy, Casino, 1920
Les Troyens à Carthage – Strasbourg, Opéra, 1920/1
Salammbô – Strasbourg, Opéra, 1920/1
La flûte enchantée – Strasbourg, Opéra, 1920/1
Angelo, tyran de Padoue – Strasbourg, Opéra, 1920/1
Kaatje – Brussels, Monnaie, 1921/4
Gianni Schicchi – Brussels, Monnaie, 5 January 1922
Louise – Brussels, Monnaie, 1921/4
La vie brève – Brussels, Monnaie, 12 April 1923
L'enfance du Christ – Brussels, Monnaie, 1921/4
Le chant de la cloche (Wilhelm) – Brussels, Monnaie, 1921/4
Quand la cloche sonnera (Yasha) – Brussels, Monnaie, 21 December 1923
La princesse d'auberge (Merlin) – Brussels, Monnaie, 1921/4
Fidelio – Brussels, Monnaie, 1921/4
Résurrection – Anvers, Opéra Royal, 1925/7
La passion – Anvers, Opéra Royal, 1925/7
L'amour des trois oranges – Anvers, Opéra Royal, 1925/7
Aida – Anvers, Opéra Royal, 1925/7
Roma – Anvers, Opéra Royal, 1925/7
La damnation de Faust – Anvers, Opéra Royal, 1925/7
Les pêcheurs de perles – Anvers, Opéra Royal, 1925/7
Gismonda – Anvers, Opéra Royal, 1925/7
A l'ombre de la cathédrale – Anvers, Opéra Royal, 1925/7
Samson et Dalila – Anvers, Opéra Royal, 1925/7
La lépreuse – Anvers, Opéra Royal, 1925/7
Arlette Bastian (Florent) – Marseille, Opéra, 1927/8
Antigone (Créon) – Strasbourg, Opéra, 1928/34
Ondine (Hugo) – Strasbourg, Opéra, 1928/34
Salome – Strasbourg, Opéra, 1928/34
Don Juan – Strasbourg, Opéra, 1928/34
Tannhäuser – Strasbourg, Opéra, 1928/34
Les contes d'Hoffmann – Strasbourg, Opéra, 1928/34
Parsifal – Strasbourg, Opéra, 1928/34
Andrea Chénier – Strasbourg, Opéra, 1928/34
Norma – Strasbourg, Opéra, 1928/34
Tristan und Isolde – Strasbourg, Opéra, 1928/34
La Walkyrie – Strasbourg, Opéra, 1928/34
L'or du Rhin – Strasbourg, Opéra, 1928/34
Tiefland-Strasbourg, Opéra, 1928/34
Le pardon de Ploërmel – ?

Picture of Arthur Descamps

Discography

Polydor, about 1925

69 bm	Werther (Massenet): Désolation de Werther	F 22066
70 bm	Hérodiade (Massenet): Air de Jean			F 22067

Picture of Arthur Descamps
71 bm Werther (Massenet): Invocation à la nature F 22068 72 bm L'Africaine (Meyerbeer): Ô paradis F 22071 73 bm Manon (Massenet): En fermant les yeux F 22072 74 bm Paillasse (Leoncavallo): Me grimer F 22070 75 bm Tosca (Puccini): O de beautés égales F 22069 76 bm Tosca (Puccini): Le ciel luisait d’étoiles F 22073 126 bk L'étoile du mineur (Weyts) F 2122A Idéal (Tosti) F 2118 129 bk Chanson de l’adieu (Tosti) F 2117 130 bk Paysage (Hahn) F 2121
Picture of Arthur Descamps

Picture of Arthur Descamps

Reference: Les grandes voix du Hainaut, à l'époque du 78 tours., Belgium, 1985.
Reference: Richard T. Soper: Belgian opera houses and singers, The Reprint Company, Spartanburg, South Carolina, 1999.
I wish to thank Georges Cardol for the discography.
I wish to thank Richard J. Venezia for the Africaine recording.
I wish to thank Christian Torrent for the recording of Ideale, for all pictures but the first two, for the biography and for the additions to the discography.
Reference for bottom picture: the fantastic collection of Claude-Pascal Perna.

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