André d'Arkor

Biography by

André d'Arkor was one of the most influential musical figures in Belgium during the twentieth century, first as a singer and then as an administrator. As a singer, he was virile throughout his entire…
Read Full Biography

Artist Biography by

André d'Arkor was one of the most influential musical figures in Belgium during the twentieth century, first as a singer and then as an administrator. As a singer, he was virile throughout his entire range, and yet capable of delivering the fine nuances and delicate head voice that mark the classic French-style tenor. While his career was focused on that repertoire, he also enjoyed successes in Mozart, the lighter Verdi roles, and Lehár, and performed more than 80 different roles.

He first studied singing at the Liege Conservatory, and made his operatic debut as Gerald in Delibes' Lakmé in 1924. His French debut was in 1929 in Lyons, as Belmonte in Mozart's The Abduction from the Seraglio. In 1930, he joined the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels, singing the title role of Gounod's Faust, and became the leading lyric tenor at that house, a remarkable accomplishment for such a young performer. He sang with that company until 1947. In 1931, he made his Paris debut at the Opéra-Comique as des Grieux in Massenet's Manon. Like most European singers, his career was interrupted by World War II, and he retired from the stage in 1945, returning to his native Liege to become the director of the Théâtre Royal, a position he held for 20 years.