Georgette “Géori” Boué (16 October 1918 – 5 January 2017) was a French soprano, particularly associated with the French repertory, especially Thais. She was born in Toulouse.
Life and career
Boué studied at the Music Conservatory of her native city (solfege, piano, harp, voice) with Claude Jean. After winning a first prize in a vocal competition, she made her debut at the Capitole de Toulouse in 1934, aged only 16, in small roles, such as Urbain in Les Huguenots, Siebel in Faust, Stéfano in Roméo et Juliette, quickly followed by bigger parts such as the lead role in Mireille, and Micaëla in Carmen.
She made her Paris debut at the Opéra-Comique in 1939, as Mimi in La Bohème (singing in the 1,000th performance at the Salle Favart on 3 May 1951), and other roles there included: Lakmé, Manon (singing in the 2,000th performance on 18 January 1952), and Ciboulette (first performance at the Opéra-Comique). Her debut at the Palais Garnier took place in 1942, as Marguerite in Faust, and she went on to sing roles such as Juliette in Roméo et Juliette, Thais, Salomé in Hérodiade, Louise, Gilda in Rigoletto, Violetta in La traviata, Desdémone in Otello, Tosca, Madama Butterfly, Tatiana in Eugene Onegin, etc.
On the international scene, she appeared at the Liceu in Barcelona, at La Scala in Milan, as Mélisande under Victor De Sabata in 1949, Mexico, Rio de Janeiro, Chicago, and the Bolshoi in Moscow, as Tatyana, in 1956.
She also sang in operetta such as La belle Hélène, The Merry Widow, and in contemporary operas such as Le fou and Les Adieux by Marcel Landowski and Colombe by Jean-Michel Damase.
Boué had a clear voice of considerable power, renowned for her impeccable diction, she was widely regarded as one of the greatest French sopranos of the 1940s. She was married to French baritone Roger Bourdin in May 1944, with whom she can be heard in two recordings, Faust under Thomas Beecham, and Thaïs. While married to Bourdin, she gave birth to Françoise Bourdin.
Boué appeared in the title role of the movie La Malibran, by Sacha Guitry, in 1943, assisted by her ability to accompany herself while singing.
She retired from the stage in 1970. As well as Faust and Thaïs her recorded legacy includes L’Aiglon, Angélique, Paganini, Véronique, Les contes d’Hoffmann, L’heure espagnole. Boué died in January 2017 at the age of 98.