Martial Singher

Martial Singher (August 14, 1904 – March 9, 1990) was a French baritone opera singer born in Oloron-Sainte-Marie, Pyrénées-Atlantiques.

Initially singing only as a hobby, he was encouraged by then French education minister Édouard Herriot to pursue singing professionally. He would go on to perform at the Opéra National de Paris, the Royal Opera House, New York City Opera, San Francisco Opera, Chicago Opera and the Metropolitan Opera.

He recorded an acclaimed Méphistophelès under Charles Munch in the RCA recording of Berlioz's La damnation de Faust (February 1954) with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Suzanne Danco as Marguerite.

Later in his life he became an accomplished music teacher at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and at the Conservatoire de musique du Québec à Montréal before moving to Santa Barbara and taking over the Music Academy of the West. He is known for influencing the careers of such artists as James King, Donald Gramm, Jeannine Altmeyer, Benita Valente, John Reardon, Louis Quilico, Jean-François Lapointe, Judith Blegen, Cynthia Hoffmann, and Thomas Moser. Singher has also been the teacher of world-famous baritones such as Thomas Hampson and Rodney Gilfry.

He wrote a book useful to vocalists aspiring to an operatic career, An Interpretive Guide to Operatic Arias: A Handbook for Singers, Coaches, Teachers, and Students (1983).

Singher died in Santa Barbara. He had married Margareta Busch, daughter of the conductor Fritz Busch, in 1940. They had three sons. Michel Singher, is an accomplished international conductor.

Birth and Death Data: Born August 14th, 1904 (Oloron-Sainte-Marie), Died March 9th, 1990 (Santa Barbara)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1951

Roles Represented in DAHR: vocalist


Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Decca 81839 11/7/1951 French Folk Songs For Children: Sur le pant d'Avignon ; Au clair de la lune ; Il était un petit navire Martial Singher vocalist  
Decca 81840 11/7/1951 French Folk Songs For Children: Frère Jacques ; Marche des rois ; Ah! Vous dirai-je Maman Martial Singher vocalist  
Decca 81841 11/7/1951 French Folk Songs For Children: Il était une bergère ; Margoton ; Malbrough s'en va-t-en guerre Martial Singher vocalist  
Decca 81842 11/7/1951 French Folk Songs For Children: Cadet Rousselle ; Fais dodo ; Labonne aventure Martial Singher vocalist  


Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Singher, Martial," accessed June 22, 2021,

Singher, Martial. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved June 22, 2021, from

"Singher, Martial." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 22 June 2021.

DAHR Persistent Identifier



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