Personalities | Jean-Blaise Martin | Early Romantic | Opera
The French baritone Jean-Blaise Martin gave his name to the voice type termed baryton-Martin, through his ability to extend his voice range into falsetto mode by an extra octave. This sort of voice, in which the baritone’s normal top notes shade into the falsetto, is classed as a ‘high baritone’ and enables singers to take on part of the tenor repertoire. Subsequently, these roles became a regular feature of opéra comique. Martin made his debut at the Théâtre de Monsieur in Paris at age 20 in 1788. Subsequently, he performed in opéras comiques at La Salle Favart between 1794 and 1801 and its successor theatre in Paris, the Opéra-Comique, from 1801 to 1823. He returned to the Opéra-Comique in 1826 and 1833. Jean-Blaise Martin created numerous roles for several composers, including Méhul, Boieldieu and Halévy. Martin simultaneously taught at the Paris Conservatoire.
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