Cernay, Germaine

French mezzo-soprano, 1900 - 1943

Biographical notes:

She was born Germaine Pointu in Le Havre and studied piano and solfeggio when still a child. She joined the Conservatoire of Paris taking singing lessons with Albers and Engel. At the Paris Opéra in 1925 she made her début as Euryclée in Fauré’s Pénélope but she eventually appeared most of her career at the Opéra-Comique (Salle Favart), where she made her début in 1927 in Alfano’s Risurrezione opposite Mary Garden. After a number of small parts she sang roles such as Mallika (Lakmé), Suzuki, Mignon, Geneviève, Carmen and Charlotte, among many others. She was also a star at the La Monnaie of Brussels and at a number of provincial French opera houses. She toured North Africa, England, Ireland, Italy and Switzerland. In a broadcast she tried to sing Mélisande (a soprano role). Without neglecting the stage, her mind continuosly changed to sing melodies and oratorios. She was a famous interpreter of Bach. Germaine believed deeply in God and intended to spend her live in a cloister, but she died before having fulfilled her wish.


As Margared in Lalo’s “Le Roi d’Ys”



Bizet - Carmen (Inghelbrecht/Berthaud, Guillamat, Lovano, Verneuil, de Faria)


Debussy - Pelléas et Mélisande (Desormière/Jansen, Joachim, Etcheverry)


Lalo - Le Roi d´Ys (Excerpts/Inghelbrecht/Micheletti, Guillamat, Ravoux, Lovano)


Mascagni - Cavalleria Rusticana (in French/Cloez/Micheletti, Endrèze)


Thomas - Mignon (Excerpts/Bastin/D’Arkor, Tragin, Dumoulin)

Music Memoria

Recital (Arias by Lalo, Saint-Saëns, Massenet, Berlioz, Bach)

Hamburger Archiv

18 Divas Françaises

Music Memoria

Paris L’Opera-Comique Vol. 1


Massenet - Rare Scenes and Arias

Vintage Music Company

Mike Richter’s Opera Page: The Record of Singing Vol. 3



As Carmen


Her art is made of elegance and great taste, of an impeccable technique and musicality. I admire her perfect French diction which seems so sadly lost today. Her Santuzza is superb, it is a subtle, not a “veristic” portrait, and she has excellent partners. To me, her Carmen has hardly been equalled (the tempi of Inghelbrecht are rather slow and a matter of taste). This is a woman longing for love and liberty that Prosper Mérimée had in mind. Raymond Berthaud is a wonderfully lyric Don José.

In my opinion, she is one of the most admirable mezzo-sopranos on recordings.

 Pleurez, mes yeux (Chimène in Le Cid / Massenet / Odeon 1928)