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Michel Sénéchal

French tenor Michel Sénéchal was born in Paris on 11 February 1927. After singing in a church choir as a child, he studied voice at the Paris Conservatoire, winning first prize in 1950. Two years later he won the Geneva Singing Competition.

He began his career at La Monnaie in Brussels (1950-52), then sang lead tenor roles in Paris at the Paris Opéra and Opéra-Comique. He also sang at Aix-en-Provence (where he was memorable in the title role of Rameau's Platée), Vienna State Opera, Glyndebourne and at the Salzburg Festival.

He also performed in operettas, using his comic talent, and later concentrated on character roles, such as the four servants in Les contes d'Hoffmann, the roles he first sang at New York Metropolitan Opera in 1982. He was still singing on stage at the Met in September 2005, in a gala performance of The Marriage of Figaro.

He was instrumental in creating several contemporary opera roles, such as Fabien in Montségur by Marcel Landowski and Pope Leo X in Doctor Faustus by Konrad Boehmer.

From 1979 he taught at Paris Opéra's L'École d'art lyrique, later becoming director of the school.

Michel Sénéchal died in hospital at Eaubonne, north of Paris, on the evening of 1 April 2018, aged ninety-one.

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