Gabriel Bacquier, 1924–2020
The Metropolitan Opera mourns the recent passing of French baritone Gabriel Bacquier, who sang 123 performances with the company from 1964 to 1982. His specialties included leading roles from his native French repertory, such as the four villains in Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann and the High Priest in Saint-Saëns’s Samson et Dalila, with which he made his Met debut. A consummate actor, he had a flair for both villains and comic roles. A notable Scarpia in Puccini’s Tosca (pictured) in the 1968 new production, he also excelled as Melitone in Verdi’s La Forza del Destino, Bartolo in Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia, the title roles in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi and Donizetti’s Don Pasquale (also a new production in 1978), and as Leporello in Mozart’s Don Giovanni. His portrayal of the latter role was preserved in a 1978 telecast that also starred Joan Sutherland and James Morris, which will be featured as the Nightly Met Opera Stream on Friday, May 22. We offer our sincere condolences to his family, friends, and admirers around the world.