Jean-Blaise Martin, full name Nicolas Jean-Blaise Martin (February 24, 1768 in Paris – October 28, 1837 in Tourzel-Ronzières) was a French opera singer whose tessitura lay between tenor and baritone, which became later known as "baryton-martin".
Life and career
Jean-Blaise Martin began singing publicly as a child, before his voice broke. He made his professional operatic debut in 1789, at the Théâtre Feydeau, in Paris, in a parody called Le Marquis de Tulipano. He then studied with Madame Dugazon, and made his debut at the Opéra-Comique in 1794, and sang there until 1823. He became a member of the administrative comity of this theatre in 1801. He also taught at the "Conservatoire de Musique" of Paris, from 1825 to 1837.
Martin's voice was described as a "ténor grave et sombre", meaning a deep-voiced dark tenor, or as a "baryton aigu et clair", meaning a clear-voiced high baritone; the compass was E flat to a, with a falsetto extension to a'. His vocal type became known as "baryton-martin", most often found in French operetta. Modern example of this voice type were French baritone Michel Dens, or closer to us Bernard Sinclair, who can be heard in a few operetta recordings such as La fille de Madame Angot, Les cloches de Corneville, and Valses de Vienne.
In the operatic repertoire, the most famous role for baryton-martin is Pelléas in Claude Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande. Camille Maurane and Jacques Jansen are widely recognized as having been the best exponents of the role.
- 1804: A bard in Ossian, ou Les bardes by Jean-François Le Sueur
- 1821: Barnabé in Le maître de chapelle by Ferdinando Paer
- Roland Mancini and Jean-Jacques Rouveroux, (orig. H. Rosenthal and J. Warrack, French edition), Guide de l’opéra, Les indispensables de la musique (Fayard, 1995). ISBN 2-213-59567-4