"I’ve always been intrigued by the stories told in the village of Biot about the origin of the name of Muratore Bridge, that crosses the Brague River on the road from Antibes" May 2018
Who was this Muratore?
He was famous around the world during the first half of the 20th century. Lucien Pierre Muratore was born in Marseille on 29 August 1876. He began his acting career in the theatre alongside Réjane and Sarah Bernhardt. A remarkable tenor, he had an extraordinary career in the United States, mainly at the opera in Boston. In 1913 he married Lina Cavalieri, considered the greatest soprano and one of the most beautiful women in the world. Lucien and Lina travelled the world, brimming with success.
In 1918, when the Spanish Flu was threatening California, the president of the university in Berkeley had to cancel all public events. He issued a formal apology for cancelling the concert of Lucien Muratore, the greatest tenor in the world. In the middle of the 1920s, the relationship went downhill, and the couple divorced in 1927. Time Magazine’s 28 May 1928 issue listed Lina Cavalieri’s admiration for Mussolini as the reason for the divorce (he was one of 840 men to propose to her!).
For an unknown reason, Lucien Muratore put down roots in Biot and was elected mayor of the town in May 1929. Time Magazine announced the election in its Monday 10 June 1929 issue. But what is the link between Muratore and the old bridge in Biot?
The bridge had become too narrow and needed to be replaced by a new one that could handle car traffic, but the cost was too high for the town. Lucien Muratore looked for outside financing, and legend has it that he organised concerts where he sang to raise the funds needed. The bridge was finally built. In 1934, Lucien Muratore resigned as mayor.
While mayor of Biot, Lucien Muratore became France’s leading film actor. His most famous movie, “Le Chanteur Inconnu”, was the number one movie of 1931. He appeared in a few more films until 1935. Lucien Muratore died on 16 July 1954 in Paris.