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Denise Duval, soprano (23 October 1921 – 25 January 2016)



 Denise Duval (23 October 1921 – 25 January 2016) was a French soprano, best known for her performances in the works of Francis Poulenc. She was born in Paris. Duval created the roles of Elle in La voix humaine, Thérèse in Les mamelles de Tirésias and later excelled in the role of Blanche de la Force in Dialogues of the Carmelites, although she did not sing in the world premiere of the work at the Teatro alla Scala, when it was performed in Italian translation. Duval made her debut as Lola in Cavalleria rusticana in Bordeaux in 1941, and was a member of the companies of the Paris Opéra and Opéra-Comique from 1947 to 1965, when she retired. She was noted for her portrayals of Debussy's Mélisande and Massenet's Thaïs. She was also noted for her performances of works by Roussel and Ravel. She continued to be closely associated with Poulenc, who in a sense 'discovered' her, and undertook many tours with him towards the end of his life as a duo chansons partnership. Her voice was characterised by a general fragility in strength, an intonational precision marked by a lack of vibrato, and a manner of articulation wherein the delivery of notes lies slightly behind the beat. She was particularly effective in roles where emotion is ironic or neo-classical in nature, but not explicitly anti-romantic. Among her appearances in America was her 1961 Thaïs at the Dallas Opera, conducted by Nicola Rescigno and directed by Franco Zeffirelli. She died in Switzerland in 2016, aged 94. WIKIPEDIA

 VIDEO: Denise Duval with Francis Poulenc 1959...


 VIDEO: These sequences show the incomparable French soprano Denise Duval, back in Paris nowadays, remembering Francis Poulenc and teaching how to sing La Voix Humaine, a work that she was the first to perform in 1959....