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Antoine Trial (13 October 1737, Avignon - 5 February 1795, Paris) was a French singer and actor. He was the younger brother of the musician Jean-Claude Trial (1732-1771) and husband of soprano Marie-Jeanne (Félicité Mandeville) (1746-1818).

After an education at the cathedral in Avignon, he followed his older brother to Paris in 1764 and joined the troupe of the Prince of Conti. On 4 July the same year, he made his debut at the Comédie-Italienne as Bastien in Le Sorcier by Philidor.

Although considered an excellent actor and musician, his voice was thin and nasal, and he specialised in the roles of peasants and servants. His roles included Bertrand in Le déserteur, Ali in Zémire et Azor and André in L’épreuve villageoise. Trial became a French term for a tenor with a thin, nasal voice, examples being in the operas of Ravel and in The Tales of Hoffmann.

He sided with Robespierre in 1793 and became active in the Terror. After the fall of Robespierre he was forced to abandon the theatre and poisoned himself.

Source

Cotte RJV. Trial, French family of musicians. In: The New Grove Dictionary of Opera. Macmillan, London and New York, 1997.


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