French orchestral and operatic conductor Georges Prêtre (who was sometimes known under the pseudonym Georges Dherain) was born in Waziers on 14 August 1924. He studied at the Douai Conservatoire and the Paris Conservatoire, where his teachers included Maurice Duruflé for harmony and André Cluytens for conducting.
His conducting debut in 1946 was at the Opéra de Marseille. At his Paris debut he conducted Richard Strauss' Capriccio at the Opéra-Comique. His various posts included conducting at the Lyric Opera of Chicago (1959-71), music director at Paris Opéra (1970-1) and principal conductor of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra (1986-91). He also appeared at Covent Garden, Metropolitan Opera and La Scala, and made recordings of Carmen and Tosca with Maria Callas.
Prêtre died in Navès on 4 January 2017, aged ninety-two.
CD Spotlight. Unerring Beauty - Praga Digitals' tribute to Victoria de los Ángeles, heard by Roderic Dunnett. 'De los Ángeles herself is, needless to say, enchanting. The purity, the innocence of the voice, as one can hear here, is simply unique to her.'
Ensemble. A Difficult Cocktail - Rossini's 'Moïse et Pharaon', assessed by Giuseppe Pennisi