Posted on 04/30/2015

Photo taken on April 30, 2015

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Emma Calve by Aime Dupont

Emma Calve by Aime Dupont
Emma Calve as Carmen 'Carmen" Bizet

(Rosa Emma Calvet de Noëmie Roquer)
(August 15, 1858 – January 6, 1942),
French Soprano

Her operatic debut occurred on September 23, 1881, in Gounod's Faust at Brussels' La Monnaie. Later she sang at La Scala in Milan, and also at the principal theatres of Naples, Rome, and Florence.

Returning to Paris in 1891, she created the part of Suzel in L'amico Fritz by Pietro Mascagni, playing and singing the role later at Rome. Because of her great success in it, she was chosen to appear as Santuzza in the French premiere of Cavalleria rusticana, which was viewed as one of her greatest parts. She repeated her success in it in London.

Her next triumph was Bizet's Carmen. Before beginning the study of this part, she went to Spain, learned the Spanish dances, mingled with the people and patterned her characterization after the cigarette girls whom she watched at their work and at play. In 1894, she made her appearance in the role at the Opéra-Comique, Paris. The city's opera-goers immediately She had had many famous predecessors in the role, including Adelina Patti, Minnie Hauk and Célestine Galli-Marié, but critics and musicians agreed that in Calvé they had found hailed her as the greatest Carmen that had ever appeared, a verdict other cities would later echo.their ideal of Bizet's cigarette girl of Seville.

Calvé first appeared in America in the season of 1893–1894 as Mignon. She would make regular visits to the country, both in grand opera and in concert tours. After making her Metropolitan Opera debut as Santuzza, she went on to appear a total of 261 times with the company between 1893 and 1904. She created the part of Anita, which was written for her, in Massenet's La Navarraise in London in 1894 and sang Sapho in an opera written by the same composer.

She sang Ophélie in Ambroise Thomas's Hamlet in Paris in 1899, but the part was not suited to her and she dropped it. She appeared with success in many roles, among them, as the Countess in The Marriage of Figaro, the title role in Félicien David's Lalla-Rookh, as Pamina in The Magic Flute, and as Camille in Hérold's Zampa, but she is best known as Carmen


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