Julien Pierre Bernard Cousinou, called Robert Cousinou, was a French baritone.  He was born on October 2, 1888, and he died on April 23, 1944.

Unfortunately, there is very little information about Cousinou on the internet. He studied under maître Darquier. He entered the Paris Conservatory in 1908 as a pupil of Max Bouvet, he made his debut at the Opéra Comique on January 11, 1912, and he became a member of the Opéra on June 9, 1913. He became one of the most prominent baritones of his day.

In 1918, he made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York as Valentin in Faust. He also appeared at Covent Garden in London for a season, and afterward, he returned to l’Opéra Comique in Paris. For the most part, he remained in France, and after his career had ended, he became a professor at the Paris Conservatory.

The reason that I am posting about him is that he had a rich baritone voice, and his singing in French was wonderful. It is not over-nasalized. He sang with a relaxed vocal apparatus, which allowed him to produce very resonant sound.

Voilà donc la terrible cité!

Voilà donc la terrible cité!
Alexandrie! Alexandrie!
Où je suis né dans le péché;
L’air brillant où j’ai respiré
L’affreux parfum de la luxure!
Voilà la mer voluptueuse
Où j’écoutais chanter la sirène aux yeux d’or!
Oui, voilà mon berceau selon la chair,
Alexandrie! O ma patrie!
Mon berceau, ma patrie!
De ton amour, j’ai détourné mon coeur.
Pour ta richesse, je te hais!
Pour ta science et ta beauté, je te hais! Je te hais!
Et maintenant je te maudis
Comme un temple hanté par les esprits impurs!
Venez! Anges du ciel! Souffles de Dieu!
Parfumez, du battement de vos ailes,
L’air corrompu qui va m’environner! Venez!

So here is the ghastly city!

So here is the ghastly city!
Alexandria! Alexandria!
Where I was born in sin;
The glowing air where I breathed
The awful scent of lust!
Here is the voluptuous sea
Where I listened to sing the siren with golden eyes!
Yes, here is my cradle according to the flesh,
Alexandria! O my homeland!
My cradle, my homeland!
From your love, I turned my heart away.
For your wealth, I hate you!
For your science and your beauty, I hate you! I hate you!
And now I curse you
Like a temple haunted by impure spirits!
Come! Angels from heaven! Whispers of God!
Perfume, with the beating of your wings,
The corrupt air that will surround me! Come!

La Chanson des blés d’or is a song by Camille Soubise et L. Le Maître (words), and Frédéric Doria (1841-1900) (music) debuted by Marius Richas at La Scala in Paris in 1882.

This romance has become a classic in French song, done by numerous interpreters: Maréchal in 1896, Fred Gouin in 1919, Réda Caire in 1931, Armand Mestral in 1957, Fabienne Thibeault in 1982, Jack Lantier, etc.). It has been sung by the actris Iris Bry in the final scene of the film Les Gardiennes.

Mignonne, quand la lune éclaire
La plaine aux bruits mélodieux,
Lorsque l’étoile du mystère
Revient sourire aux amoureux,
As-tu parfois sur la colline,
Parmi les souffles caressants,
Entendu la chanson divine
Que chantent les blés frémissants ?

Mignonne, quand le soir descendra sur la terre,
Et que le rossignol viendra chanter encore,
Quand le vent soufflera sur la verte bruyère,
Nous irons écouter la chanson des blés d’or !
Nous irons écouter la chanson des blés d’or !

As-tu parfois sous la ramure,
A l’heure où chantent les épis,
Ecouté leur joyeux murmure
Au bord des vallons assoupis ?
Connais-tu cette voix profonde,

Qui revient, au déclin du jour,
Chanter parmi la moisson blonde
Des refrains palpitants d’amour ?

Mignonne, quand le soir descendra sur la terre,
Et que le rossignol viendra chanter encore,
Quand le vent soufflera sur la verte bruyère,
Nous irons écouter la chanson des blés d’or !
Nous irons écouter la chanson des blés d’or !

Mignonne, allons à la nuit close
Rêver aux chansons du printemps
Pendant que des parfums de rose
Viendront embaumer nos vingt ans !
Aimons sous les rameaux superbes,
Car la nature aura toujours
Du soleil pour dorer les gerbes
Et des roses pour nos amours !

My dear, when the moon shines
The plain full of melodious sounds,
When the star of mystery
Comes back to smile at lovers,
Do you sometimes on the hill
Among the caressing whispers,
Hear the divine song
What do the shimmering sheaves sing?

My sweet, when the evening comes down to earth,
And the nightingale comes and sings,
When the wind blows on the green heather,
We will go listen listen to the song of the golden wheat!
We will go listen listen to the song of the golden wheat!

Do you sometimes have under the branches,
At the hour when the ears (of wheat) sing,
Heard their happy whisper
At the edge of the dozing valleys?
Do you know that deep voice,

Who returns, at the end of the day,
Sings among the blonde harvest
Thrilling refrains of love?

My darling, when the evening comes down to earth,
And the nightingale comes and sings again,
When the wind blows on the green heather,
We will go listen to the song of the golden wheat!
We will go listen to the song of the golden wheat!

Ma petite, let’s go on an intimate night
Dreaming of spring songs
While the scent of roses
Will come to perfume our twenty years!
Let us love under the beautiful branches,
Because nature will always have
Sun to gild the wreaths
And roses for our loves!