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Désirée Artôt by Feilner

Désirée Artôt by Feilner
Désirée Artôt (1835-1907); Belgian mezzo-soprano/soprano.

Her real name was Marguerite Joséphine Désirée Montagney. She adopted the surname Artôt professionally, because both her father and her uncle -who were musicians- used Artôt already as a stage name. After her 1869 marriage to the Spanish baritone Mariano Padilla y Ramos (1842-1906) she was known as Désirée Artôt de Padilla or Désirée Artôt-Padilla.

She first studied with Marius Audran and continued with the famous Pauline Viardot-Garcia in Paris. In 1858 she was appointed at the Grand Opéra Paris on recommendation of the composer Giacomo Meyerbeer. Here she made her dazzling debut as Fidès in his opera "Le Prophète". In 1859 she went on tour in Italy and in Germany with the Lorini Italian Opera Company. Here most successful roles were Rosina in "Il Barbiere di Siviglia", Angelina in "La Cenerentola", Azucena in "Il Trovatore" and Maddalena in "Rigoletto". In 1859 she made guest appearances at the "Théâtre de la Monnaie" in Brussels. After further successful guest appearances in Germany and Russia as a mezzo-soprano she turned to soprano roles. In 1859/60 she gave concerts in London as a soprano.In 1863 she sang at "Her Majesty's Theatre"in London; as Marie in "La fille du Regiment", as Violetta in "La Traviata" and as Adalgisa in "Norma". In 1864/66 she performed with triumphant success at "Covent Garden". On a tour in Russia in 1868 she was briefly engaged with the composer Tschaikowsky, but it did not come to a marriage. In 1869 she married the Spanish baritone Mariano Padilla y Ramos. Together with her husband she undertook extensive and very successful tours of guest appearances in Germany, Austria, Italy, Hungary, Poland, Sweden, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Russia, and Finland. She left the stage in 1884 and became a a much sought-after singing teacher.

Their daughter Lola Artôt de Padilla (1876-1933) was also a well known soprano, who was engaged at the Berliner Hofoper from 1909-1927.