Edmond Clément

Edmond Clément (28 March 1867, Paris - 24 February 1928, Nice)[1] was a French lyric tenor who earned an international reputation due to the polished artistry of his singing. During his career he also held a private studio, one of his students being the internationally recognized soprano Marie Sundelius.[1]

Edmond Clément
Harvard Theatre Collection - Edmond Clément TCS 1.5270.jpg
Background information
Birth nameFrédéric-Jean Clément
Paris, France
Died23 February 1928, age of 61
Nice, France
Occupation(s)Singer, Teacher


Clément began his studies at the Conservatoire de Paris with Victor Warot, subsequently making his debut at the Opéra-Comique in 1889, as Vincent in Mireille. Hewas the theater's principle tenor until 1909, appearing in many roles such as Ottavio, Tamino, Almaviva, Georges Brown, Fra Diavolo, Gérald, des Grieux, Werther and Hoffmann, along with many more. Such roles were the bulk of his repertoire and qualified him to be considered between a Lyrischer Tenor and Italienischer tenor.[2]

He was part of the inaugural performance of Le Juif polonais by Camille Erlanger and Hélène by Camille Saint-Saëns, and sang in the Parisian premieres of Falstaff and Madama Butterfly.

When he reached his 40s, his career had begun moving Westward. He was not only popular in Paris and began singing in Brussels, Monte Carlo, Madrid and London, although he never appeared at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. He was invited to come to the United States and he quickly joined the stellar roster of singers at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, where he performed from 1909-1910. He faced competition from the equally popular Italian verismo tenor Enrico Caruso and was quickly overwhelmed, as Clement's more bel canto style was not in high demand at the time. Because of Caruso's growing prestige as a verismo tenor, Clement was not re-signed by the Met's management. While in New York City, he kept his voice in performance shape by taking lessons from the noted pedagogue Frederick Bristol. However, he would find his audience in Boston.

After his time at the MET, from 1911 to 1913 he began singing at the Boston Opera House. Audiences at the theater admired him for his stylish vocalism, exemplary diction and elegant stage presence during his engagements with the Boston Opera Company, thanks in part to his bel canto elegance and dexterous technique. Although his voice was not large, he was considered to be one of the leading Roméos and Don Josés of his era by dint of his musicianship. He was also considered incredibly handsome and possessed developed acting skills for the stage.[1]

Clément returned to his homeland when the First World War erupted in 1914 and was wounded subsequently while serving with the French army. America heard him again during the early 1920s when he travelled across the Atlantic for concert and recital appearances. His last years were spent in semi-retirement in France and are considered his declining period. He gave his last recital in Nice at the age of 60 in 1927. He died on February 24, 1928 in Nice at the age of 61.[3][1]


His voice lives on in the form of recordings which he made in France and the United States for the Odeon, Victor and Pathe companies. These recordings, which have been reissued on CD, consist mainly of operatic arias from his core repertoire. They are helpful in elucidating the vibrant culture of Italian-influenced French, operatic artistry.


In 1911, the French-American composer and conductor H. Maurice Jacquet dedicated his mélodie "Chanson de l'Inconstant" [Song of the inconsistent] to him.[4]


Edmond Clement is noted to have sung over 40 roles during his professional career, before retiring at 60 to focus on teaching, as well as perform in smaller concerts and recitals.[5]

Role Opera Composer
1. Ernesto Don Pasquale Gaetano Donizetti
2. Tonio La Fille du Regiment Gaetano Donizetti
3. Cavaradossi Tosca Giacomo Puccini
4. Rodolfo La Bohème Giacomo Puccini
5. Alfredo La Traviata Giuseppe Verdi
6. Fenton Falstaff Giuseppe Verdi
7. Werther Werther Jules Massenet
8. Grieux Manon Jules Massenet
9. Tamino Die Zauberflöte Wolfgang A. Mozart
10. Don Ottavio Don Giovanni Wolfgang A. Mozart
11. Dominique L’Attaque du Moulin Alfred Bruneau
12. Sentinel L’Attaque du Moulin Alfred Bruneau
13. Pitou La Fille de Madame Angot Charles Lecocq
14. Mylio Le Roi d’Ys Édouard Lalo
15. Don José Carmen Georges Bizet
16. Nicias Phrynée Camille Saint-Saëns
17. Daniel Le Chalet Adolph Adam
18. Gérald Lakmé Leo Delibes
19. Georges Brown La Dame Blanche François-Adrien Boieldieu
20. Fra Diavolo Fra Diavolo Daniel Auber
21. Count Almaviva Il Barbiere di Siviglia Gioachino Rossini
22. Hoffmann Les Contes d’Hoffmann Jacques Offenbach
23. Andrea Benvenuto Eugène Diaz
24. Jacquemin Le Flibustier Cesar Cui
25. Georges La Vivandière Benjamin Godard
26. Landry Xavière Théodore Dubois
27. Loti in L'Île du Rêve Reynaldo Hahn
28. Christian Le Juif Polonais Frédéric Alfred d'Erlanger
29. Pedrito La Cabrera Gabriel Dupont
30. Jean-Simon Le Clos Charles Silver


  1. Adieu, for voice and piano by G. Faure (Pathé Records, 1925)[6]
  2. Edmond Clement, An Historical Recording (Delta Records, 1964)[7]
  3. Edmond Clement: French Opera and Mèlodies; Traditional Chansons (Pearl Records, 1995)[8]
  4. Edmond Clément: The Complete Odéon (1905) and Victor (1911-13) Recordings (Romophone, 1995[9] and Masterworks[9])
  5. Edmond Clement: Edmont Clément: The Most Famous Recordings (Vocal Archives, 1998)[10]
  6. Edmond Clement: The Complete Pathe Recordings, 1916-1925 (Romophone, 2000)[11]
  7. Edmond Clement: The Legendary French Tenor, 1911-14 (Minerva Recordings, 2011)[12]


  1. ^ a b c d "Edmond Clement (1867-1928)". Mahler Foundation. 2016-02-13. Retrieved 2021-07-19.
  2. ^ says, Perfect Tenor Recital Selections (2017-04-24). "THE FACH SYSTEM: The tenor voice". The IPA Source Blog. Retrieved 2021-07-19.
  3. ^ "Edmond Clement, Noted Singer, Dead. Artist Acclaimed the Greatest French Tenor of Recent Years Stricken at Nice. Sang At The Metropolitan. Appeared In Concert Here as Lately as 1921. Created Many Roles at Opera Comique". The New York Times. February 24, 1928. Retrieved 2015-11-27.
  4. ^ Chanson de l'inconstant / H. Maurice Jacquet - Discover Archives". discoverarchives.library.utoronto.ca. Retrieved 2021-07-19.
  5. ^ Edmond Clément - Adieu, retrieved 2021-07-19
  6. ^ Edmond Clément - Adieu, retrieved 2021-07-19
  7. ^ Edmond Clement – Edmond Clement, An Historical Recording (1964, Vinyl) (in Russian), retrieved 2021-07-19
  8. ^ French Opera and Mèlodies; Traditional Chansons - Edmond Clement | User Reviews | AllMusic, retrieved 2021-07-19
  9. ^ a b Edmond Clément: The Complete Odéon (1905) and Victor (1911-13) Recordings - Plácido Domingo | Releases | AllMusic, retrieved 2021-07-19
  10. ^ "EDMOND CLEMENT". FNAC. Retrieved 17 July 2021.
  11. ^ Edmond Clément: The Complete Pathé Recordings (1916-1925) - Edmond Clement | Releases | AllMusic, retrieved 2021-07-19
  12. ^ Clement, Edmond, French Tenor-Recordings 1930's, retrieved 2021-07-19

Further readingEdit

  • Guide de l'opéra, les indispensables de la musique, R. Mancini & J-J. Rouvereux, (Fayard, 1986), ISBN 2-213-01563-5
  • The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Opera (Second Edition), Harold Rosenthal and John Warrack, (Oxford University Press, 1980), ISBN 0-19-311321-X
  • The Record of Singing, Michael Scott, (Duckworth, 1977)

External linksEdit