Merentié, Marguerite, Sopran, * 1880, (?); (by Christophe Delhoume): Issued from the Paris Conservatoire in 1904, where she got a first prize for singing and a second prize for opera, Marguerite Mérentié made a most promising debut at the Paris Opera as Chimène in LE CID (May 15, 1905) appearing on this occasion with the most famous artists of the company: Alvarez, Delmas, or Alice Verlet as L'Infante. Very shortly she took over heavier roles, some of them being the property of the most celebrated singers of the house: Bréval and Grandjean. During her first three seasons at the Paris Opera, Mérentié did not only undertake Valentine in LES HUGUENOTS, SALAMMBO or AÏDA, she also sang her first Sieglinde opposite Litvinne's Brünnhilde, Van Dyck and Delmas from April 13 until mid May 1907. During the summer season, she sang ARIANE by Massenet with Louise Grandjean and Lucien Muratore, and on December 21 st , 1906 she joined a most expected event: the first integral execution of CARMEN at the Paris Opera (the work being at that time exclusively performed at the Opera-Comique). She had on this occasion, Salignac and Noté as her partners, the orchestra being under the lead of Paul Vidal. The following year, Mérentié sang her second Wagner part at the Paris Opera: Elisabeth in TANNHAUSER; which she undertook on March 23 1908 with Alvarez and Noté, and repeated one month later for the debut of Jeanne Foreau as Venus with Van Dyck and Renaud (both performances being conducted by Henri Rabaud). She sang one more performance on November, while during the rest of the season; she sang Aïda and succeed Lucienne Bréval as Phèdre in the revival of Rameau's HIPPOLYTE ET ARICIE with Yvonne Gall and Delmas in the title roles. In the meantime, she had appeared in Gunsburg's season in Monte-Carlo, where she performed second roles opposite Selma Kurz's Gilda or Traviata, in February and March 1908. At that time, Marguerite Mérentié had already signed a contract with Albert Carré, whom she had met in April 1906, while performing LE CLOWN for the Nouveau Théâtre. This was a piece by Isaac de Camondo where she incarnated the part of Gladys, opposite a young beginner: Géraldine Farrar. The cast also included Rousselière, Renaud and Delmas, and was produced with the Opéra-Comique favourite team: Carré for the staging and Jusseaume for the sets. Carré had kept this young artist in mind, following her first steps on the Paris Opera stage, until he proposed her a contract for the Comique. After the success she got during the Gala performance of Carmen in 1907, it was obvious, that she was by then, ready to make her debut at the Comique in the same role. The performance took place on January 9, 1909, and Mérentié kept singing the role during the whole season: in March with Edmond Clément, and in September with Rose Heilbronner, Beyle, Ghasne and Ruhlmann conducting. Mérentié's career at the Comique was quite fortunate for almost a decade. During the 1909/1910 season, she sang Toinette in LE CHEMINEAU (November 1911), immediately after Claire Friché who had created the part. She also sang a revival of ARIANE ET BARBE BLEUE in April 1910 with Cécile Thévenet as The Nurse and Suzanne Brohly as Selysette, and later that season sang her first TOSCA, her incarnations getting each time a most favourable acclaim. In the fall of 1909, Marguerite Mérentié was urged by Xavier Leroux, to create the title-role of his opera THEODORA in Milan (The piece having been brought to the stage for his wife, in Monte-Carlo two years earlier). She was immediately hired by La Scala in an all-Italian cast under the lead of Vitale. The local premiere was scheduled for April 18, 1909, but unfortunately, the performance turned to a complete failure, and the piece was not repeated. By chance, Paris musical circles and the critics were much more favourable to the creations in which Mérentié took part in the early 1910's. Still a pre-eminent member of the Opera-Comique, she was assigned for the premiere of Alberich Magnard's BERENICE, always lead by Ruhlmann, staged by Carré and decorated by Jusseaume. The premiere took place on December 15, 1911, and was a success, repeated during the nine following performances. 1912 was quite an important season in Mérentie's carrier, for she did not only kept busy at the Comique (the revival of LE CHEMINEAU being arranged for her, a couple of weeks after Berenice's premiere) but also joined La Gaîté Lyrique for the creation of Isidore de Lara's opera NAÏL, then, she created Jean Nouguès's opera LES FRERES DANILO (for the Pathé records), and made a most expected return at the Paris Opera in LE CID. Back to the Palais Garnier again, her 1912/1913 season was one of her most successful: on January 29, 1913, she created Angèle in André Gailhard's opera LE SORTILEGE opposite Muratore, and on February 17, she was back to the grand repertoire, incarnating ARMIDE by Gluck with Daumas as the Hate, and Altchewsky as Renaud, while she was cast as Brünhilde in a revival of WALKÜRE on March 28 with Jeanne Hatto, Ketty Lapeyrette, Paul Franz and Delmas. She repeated the role on April 4 th , and shortly after the last performance of LE SORTILEGE, sang her first Isolde at the Paris Opera. On May 5, 1913, she appeared for the first time as Isolde, in a performance conducted by André Messager, her partners being Caro-Lucas as Brangäne, Franz as Tristan, Roselly and Gresse as Kurwenal and Marke. She scored such a success, in this part, that she was re invited to sing the revival the following season, singing the role three times between March 7 th , and April 4 th , 1914. The cast was almost the same, excepted Daumas as Brangäne and Narçon as Marke, Cerdan and Roselly alternating as Kurwenal. The revival was conducted by the composer Henri Rabaud. Unfortunately the tragic events of WW I, did put a brake to Mérentié's career at the Paris Opera. After a successful come back in 1912 and a consecration as Isolde in 1913 and 1914, her ascension was almost slowing down due to the political situation. The Opera House being closed, Mérentié managed to appear at the Théâtre Français in Antwerp (she had already sung in Belgium, having appeared with La Monnaie in 1909), where she scored once more a great success as CARMEN, and joint the members of Paris Opera company for its first concert after the War declaration, at the Trocadero on February 16, 1915. On this occasion, she sang one of the arias of Dukas's ARIANE ET BARBE-BLEUE. Her career came to a end, shortly after the War. Still performing at the Opera-Comique, Mérentié sang Fanny for the 100 th performance of SAPHO by Massenet with Francell and Parmentier, under the baton of Paul Vidal on Christmas Eve 1918, and undertook her last new role, Mademoiselle Lange in Lecoq's LA FILLE DE MADAME ANGOT, in June 1919, opposite Edmée Favart as Clairette. Marguerite Mérentié has left several recordings for Pathé between 1907 and 1913 songs and arias (including the arias from ARIANE by Massenet), as well as Jean Nougues's LES FRERES DANILO and the CARMEN recording with Aline Vallandri, Augustarello Affre and Henri Albers, under the lead of Fran9ois Ruhlmann.
Many thanks to Christophe Delhoume!!!
(In german) ihre Ausbildung
erfolgte bis 1904 am Conservatoire National Paris. 1905 kam sie für
etwa acht Jahre (wenigstens bis 1913) an die Grand Opéra Paris, an
der sie als Chimène in »Le Cid« von Massenet debütierte.
Sie sang an der Oper von Monte Carlo 1908 die Flora in »La Traviata«
und die Gräfin Ceprano im »Rigoletto«, 1909 sang sie als
Antrittsrolle an der Pariser Opéra- Comique die Carmen. An diesem
Haus trat sie letztmalig 1919 als Mme Lange in »La Fille de Mme Angot«
von Lecocq auf. Sie war oft an der Oper von Monte Carlo anzutreffen, wo
sie 1915 in einer konzertanten Aufführung die Carmen mitwirkte. 1918
übernahm sie an der Opéra-Comique in der 100. Aufführung
der Oper »Sapho« von Massenet die Partie der Fanny Legrand.
Am 26.4.1906 sang sie am Théâtre Nouveau Paris in der Uraufführung
der Oper »Le Clown« von Camondo, am 15.12.1911 an der Opéra-Comique
in der von Albéric Magnards »Bérénice«.
1908 trat sie als Gast am Théâtre de la Monnaie Brüssel
auf. 1909 gastierte sie in einer einzigen Vorstellung an der Mailänder
Scala in der italienischen Premiere der Oper »Theodora« von
Xavier Leroux. Sie sang die Partie der Isolde in "Tristan und Isolde"
an L'Opera de Paris in den Jahren 1913 und 1914. Seit 1919 scheint sie nicht
mehr aufgetreten zu sein, obwohl ihre Karriere gerade jetzt ihren Höhepunkt
Ihre dunkel getönte, dramatische Sopranstimme begegnet uns auf einigen
G & T-Platten von 1907; Schallplatten: Pathé (vollständige
»Carmen«-Aufnahme von 1912, wo sie die Titelheldin in der
ersten vollständigen Aufnahme der Oper sang; auch Solotitel, Arien