Georgette Leblanc


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(b Tancarville, 8 Feb 1875; d Le Cannet, nr Cannes, 27 Oct 1941). French soprano. She studied in Paris, making her début in 1893 at the Opéra-Comique as Françoise in the first performance of Alfred Bruneau's L'attaque au Moulin. She also sang Fanny in Jules Massenet's Sapho. Engaged at the Théâtre de la Monnaie (1894–6), she sang Anita (La Navarraise), Thaïs and Carmen. In Brussels, she began a 20-year personal association with Maurice Maeterlinck, who wanted her to create the heroine of Pelléas et Mélisande; Claude Debussy, however, insisted that Mary Garden should sing the role. Instead, Leblanc sang Ariane at the first performance of Paul Dukas’ Ariane et Barbe-bleue at the Opéra-Comique (1907). She also created Ygraine in Jean Nouguès’ La mort de Tintagiles (1905). She first sang Mélisande in 1912 at Boston, where she also acted in the play. In 1930 she published Souvenirs (1895–1918), an account of her liaison with Maeterlinck.

From The Grove Book of Opera Singers in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Opera.

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