Soprano Mady Mesplé receives the Medal of Commander of the Legion of Honor from President Nicolas Sarkozy in 2011. - LIONEL BONAVENTURE / AFP

The singer Mady Mesplé, crystalline voice of opera from the 1950s to the end of the 1970s, died on Saturday in Toulouse at the age of 89, we learned from the Capitole Theater in Toulouse, that she attended all her life.

“He is one of the great figures of French lyric life after the war. She had a very crystalline voice with treble and treble… it was phenomenal, ”recalls the artistic director of the Capitol Theater, Christophe Ghristi.

"Lakmé", flagship and fetish role

"She could interpret everything, with accuracy and sensitivity and will have helped to shine a spotlight on our culture on stages around the world," added Minister of Culture Franck Riester on Twitter. "A great lady has just left us".

In the 1950s , she became known for her interpretation in Lakmé , an opera by Léo Delibes, in Liège. At that time, Lakmé was the flagship role for the French colored sopranos. A fetish role for her.

All directories explored

Mady Mesplé also shone in the title roles  of Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor , in an Olympia doll ( The Tales of Hoffmann  by Offenbach) and in the airs of the Queen of the Night ( Mozart's Magic  Flute). She has performed in the largest halls in the world.

During her career, her passion for music led her to tackle all repertoires: operetta, opera, contemporary music. "She said she didn't like the nature of her voice, it was amazing to hear her admit that," said the artistic director again. Born March 7, 1931 in Toulouse in a family of music lovers, she began music theory at 4 years old and entered at 7 years old at the conservatory.

I would have liked to be a pianist

The Toulouse teenager wanted to become a pianist, but at the Capitole Theater, we notice her qualities for singing. “The path was clear. I don't seem to have chosen. I had a fair voice, and that is a gift. What can we do against it or for that? Said the singer in an interview with France-Musique.

Yet she was described as a workaholic. She was astonished that the students of the conservatory today have "only an hour and a quarter of music theory per day whereas there were six in my time". She had experienced as a "collapse" the renunciation of becoming a pianist.

At the end of her life, only Parkinson's disease from which she was affected kept her away from the Capitol Theater, where she had her habits since childhood. “It was a bulimic of music, continues Christophe Ghristi. She came to all the shows at the Capitole Theater, with a thirst for hearing music. He always needed more. ” She died at home, surrounded by her family, in her apartment in the center of Toulouse, 200 meters from the Capitol.


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