Forgotten Opera Singers

Forgotten Opera Singers

Dec 8, 2018

Fanny Heldy (Soprano) (Ath, Hainaut, Belgium 29 February 1888 - Neuilly-Sur-Seine, France 13 December 1973)

Her real name was Marguerite-Virginie Emma Clementine Deceuninck. Her father was Belgian, her mother was English. She received her education at the Conservatory of Liège and made her debut  in 1910 at the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels as Elena in ‘’Ivan le Terrible’’ of Gunsbourg. She stayed there for two seasons, then sang in Vichy and Aix-les-Bains and was engaged in 1917 by the Opéra-Comique in Paris. Here she made her debut as Violetta in ‘’Traviata’’. For more than twenty years she was a soloist of this opera house and since 1920 (debut as Juliette in ‘’Roméo et Juliette’’ by C. Gounod) also became a member of the Paris Grand Opéra. Here she sang in several world premieres: on March 14, 1921 in ‘’Antar’’ by Gabriel Dupont, on October 23, 1924 in ‘’Nerto’’ by Charles-Marie Widor, on January 12, 1928 in ‘’La Tour de Feu’’ by Sylvio Lazzari, on 15th May 1929 in ‘’Persée et Andromède’’ by J. Ibert, on 21. 3. 1935 in ‘’Le Marchand de Venise’’ by Reynaldo Hahn. At the Opéra de Monte-Carlo she appeared on 11. 3. 1937 in the premiere of the opera ‘’L'Aiglon’’ by Honegger and Ibert, whose title role was composed for her. In 1923 she was celebrated at the La Scala in Milan as Louise in G. Charpentier’s opera ‘’Louise’’ under A. Toscanini. In 1925 and 1928 she sang with similar success the part of Mélisande in ‘’Pelléas et Mélisande’’. In 1926 and 1928 she made guest appearances at the Covent Garden Opera in London as Manon of J. Masssenet, Concepcion in M. Ravel's ‘’L'Heure espagnole’’. In 1927 she was a guest at the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires. In 1939 she retired from the stage and then lived with her husband Marcel Boussac at a castle in the Loire Valley.

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