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Cornélie Falcon

(1814—1897)


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(b Paris, 28 Jan 1814; d Paris, 25 Feb 1897). French soprano. She studied with Felice Pellegrini and Adolphe Nourrit at the Paris Conservatoire, and in 1831 won premiers prix for singing and lyric declamation. She made her début at the Opéra as Alice in Giacomo Meyerbeer's Robert le diable (1832). Her acting ability and dramatic voice greatly excited Meyerbeer, who wrote for her the part of Valentine in Les Huguenots (29 February 1836). Other notable creations were Rachel in Fromental Halévy's La Juive (25 February 1835) and the title role in Louise Bertin's Esmeralda (14 November 1836); her repertory also included Donna Anna, Julie in Gaspare Spontini's La vestale and Gioachino Rossini's French heroines. Her success at the Opéra led to overwork followed by loss of voice. In March 1837 she broke down during a performance of Louis Niedermeyer's Stradella. She resumed a busy schedule of perfomances shortly afterwards, but continued to experience vocal difficulties. She stopped singing in October and after a last appearance in Les Huguenots (15 January 1838), she twice visited Italy in the hope of recovering her voice. She returned to the Opéra on 14 March 1840 to sing parts of La Juive and Les Huguenots at a benefit performance, but her voice had been permanently damaged. Successful concerts with Cinti-Damoreau in Russia in the winter of 1841–2 were followed by some private performances in Paris and rumours of miraculous medical cures, but Falcon never appeared on stage again.

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From The Grove Book of Opera Singers in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Opera.


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