Marie Le Rochois

(c. 1658—1728)

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(b Caen, c 1658; d Paris, 8 Oct 1728). French soprano and singing teacher, commonly but incorrectly known as Marthe le Rochois. She may have studied with Michel Lambert, who presumably brought her to the attention of his son-in-law, Jean-Baptiste Lully. In 1678 she entered the Paris Opéra, where Lully chose her to create the roles of Arethusa in Proserpine (1680), Merope in Persée (1682), Arcabonne in Amadis (1684), Angélique in Roland (1685), Armide in Armide (1686) and Galatea in Acis et Galatée (1686). She also sang in Lully revivals, as Medea in Thésée (1688), Cybele in Atys (1689) and Hermione in Cadmus et Hermione (1690). In the post-Lully period she created Polyxena in the Lully—Pascal Collasse Achille et Polyxène (1687), Thetis in Collasse's Thétis et Pélée (1689), Lavinia in Collasse's Enée et Lavinie (1690), Dido in Henry Desmarets’ Didon (1693) and Medea in Marc-Antoine Charpentier's Médée (1693). Fearing the loss of her voice, Le Rochois was absent from the Opéra from 1694 to 1696, when she returned as Ariadne in Marin Marais’ Ariane et Bacchus. In 1697 she created the roles of Venus in Desmarets’ Vénus et Adonis and Roxane in André Campra's L'Europe galante. Her final role (shared with Mlle Desmatins) was Isis in André Destouches’ pastorale-héroïque, performed in December 1697. She retired in 1698.


From The Grove Book of Opera Singers in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Opera.

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