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Germaine Montero

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Biography

Singer/actress Germaine Montero was one of the more celebrated vocalists in France during the mid-20th century, although her repertory was truly international, and she also divided much of her professional career between music and acting. Born Germaine Berthe Caroline Heygel in Paris in 1909, she made her acting debut at the theater of the renowned Spanish author Frederico Garcia Lorca when she was 18. Over the decades that followed, she was acclaimed for her work in Spanish theater and French song, as well as works by Bertolt Brecht. In 1952, she scored a huge state success with her performance in Mere Courage (as Brecht's Mother Courage was translated in France) at the Theatre National Populaire in Paris. Soon after, she released her first LP, Folk Songs of Spain (Vanguard), which earned a Grand Prix du Disc, which paved the way for her second album, Songs of Parisian Nights -- and the Parisian theatrical run in Brecht's work led to an LP, Songs of Parisian Nights, and a third, Mere Courage, also on Vanguard. Her acting career eventually took precedence over her recording work, and at the time of her death in 2000, Montero had appeared in more than two dozen movies as well as numerous theatrical works. ~ Bruce Eder
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