Alice Raveau


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(b 1884; d Paris, 1951). French contralto. She studied at the Paris Conservatoire and made her début at the Opéra-Comique in 1908, singing the role that was to remain most closely associated with her: C. W. Gluck's Orpheus. She was still singing it at the company's revival in 1924, and in 1936 she took part in the first complete recording, a performance that continues to impress, as much by its intensity of feeling and care for words as by the beauty and noble power of the voice. She sang the title role in the world première of Gaston Salvayre's Solange (1909) and the leading female role of Diana in Samuel-Alexandre Rousseau's Léone (1910). At Monte Carlo in 1913 she sang Eurycleia in the world première of Gabriel Fauré's Pénélope and created the title role in Yato by Marguerite Labori. She was also a noted Charlotte in Werther and in 1929 sang Delilah at the Opéra. In later years she became well known as a recitalist, particularly in association with the composer and conductor Henri Tomasi. Though her fine art and rich voice can be heard in many recordings, the Orphée remains her most memorable achievement for the gramophone.

From The Grove Book of Opera Singers in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Opera.

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