Marguerite Soyer

Liebestod Rec.:

4.Mar.1929 Dir. Coppola, Piero (Orchestral accompaniment) 78 rpm: HMV 2-33087/8, Gramophone P 807

Soyer, Marguerite * 1900? (?), † ? (?).

(by Christophe Delhoume): No information about her date/place of birth, since she has been noticed very young by the conductor Corneil de Thoran who brought her to La Monnaie, where she made her debut during the 1922/1923 season. She created there, the Opera ANTAR by the late Gabriel Dupont, in the part of Abla, a role created by Fanny Heldy. Since the very beginning, Soyer seems to possess a rich and flexible voice, as well as real gifts for acting, since she was cast in most demanding roles: she was the first FRANCESCA DA RIMINI when the piece was created in Brussels in November 1923, and when De Thoran decided to give the premiere of Borrenson-Hakon's opera: KADDARA, she sang the title part with the agreement of the composer. The premiere took place on March 17, 1924, in presence of Borreson-Hakon himself. Through the years 1923 and 1924, Marguerite Soyer has appeared in Brussels in such parts as Salud in LA VIDE BREVE and Jaroslavna for the local premiere of PRINCE IGOR. From La Monnaie, Marguerite Soyer reach the Opera-Comique, where she was contracted for the 1925/1926 season, making her debut there as BUTTERFLY on October 21, with Miguel Villabella. Her first season at the Opera-Comique included performances of LES CONTES D'HOFFMANN (she performed both Antonia and Giulietta) as well as two important revivals of Alfred Bachelet's opera : QUAND LA CLOCHE SONNERA and SCEMO. In QUAND LA CLOCHE SONNERA , Soyer took over the part of Mannouchka, created by Balguerie three years before, apparently with great success, since she was invited to sing the part again at the Algier Opera the same season. For SCEMO, which has been written for Yvonne Gall, she had the opportunity to sing the part of Francesca under the composer's baton, for the premiere at the Opera-Comique on May 20, 1926, with Charles Friant and José Beckmans. Marguerite Soyer will remain extremely present on the Opéra-Comique's roster, for the next ten coming years. She begins the 1926/1927 season singing her first TOSCA there (October 3) with Di Mazzei and Beckmans, just before to sing the premiere of Gustave Doret's opera: LA TISSEUSE D 'ORTIE (November 22) where she sang the part of Régine, opposite Claire Croiza. The cast, conducted by Albert Wolf included also René Lapelletrie and Mathilde Calvet. During this season, Marguerite Soyer undertook the part of LOUISE, and participated to the 500 th performance of LES CONTES D'HOFFMANN on March 3 rd 1927 with Yvonne Brothier, Madeleine Sibille and Micheletti as Hoffmann. After her first success as LOUISE, TOSCA, Margared in LE ROI D'YS, Salud in LA VIDA BREVE the management of the Opéra-Comique slightly induce her to take on more dramatic parts to face the competition with Germaine Lubin, at that time extremely effective with Rouché at the Grand Opera. After Balguerie's success as Isolde AND Ariane in ARIANE ET BARBE-BLEUE at the Comique,  Albert Wolff offered the parts to Soyer for the revival of the 1929/1930 season. In the meantime, she had the chance to undertake the part for a try-out in Toulouse during the 1928/1929, where she was the first Isolde at the Capitole opposite Lise Landral, Victor Forti as Tristan, and José Beckmans as Kurwenal. She repeated the part during the Summer 1929 in Aix-les-Bains for a TRISTAN with Georgette Frozier-Marot as Brangäne, Forti again, and with Albert Wolff conducting. She was then, ready to face the public of the Opera-Comique for the premiere of the TRISTAN revival two months later on October 10, with Wolff again at the pit. This is a huge success, which will be repeated all along the season. At that time, Marguerite Soyer was still very much in demand as TOSCA, a role she sang at the Opéra d'Alger with the tenor Frankin during the 1929/1930 winter season, as well as BUTTERFLY, a part she sang on May 22, 1929, for the 500 th performance of that piece at the Opera-Comique. In the 30's, Marguerite Soyer's career at the Opera-Comique is at its pick: more LOUISE and TRISTAN performances with Sibille and Forti in June 1930, a gala performance of TOSCA for the debut of Giuseppe Lugo on October 6, 1931, as well as the Paris premiere of EROS VAINQUEUR by De Breville on February 8, 1932, a piece created for Croiza at La Monnaie in Brussels in 1910. Meanwhile, Marguerite Soyer also appeared in French opera houses: regular guest of the Capitole in Toulouse, she also joined the roster of the Opera de Lyon during the 1933/1934 season for LOHENGRIN which she sang on January 7, 1934 with Madeleine David and Georges Thill, and especially for OTELLO on February 6, which was given in French for the very first time, and where she appeared opposite Ferdinand Frantz.  In 1935, she was in Toulouse again for HERODIADE with Vezzani and in Nizza for Brünhilde in SIGURD. Brought to Jacques Rouché's attention after several successful seasons at the Comique, Marguerite Soyer is approached by the Paris Grand Opéra for a contract for 1936/1937 season. This has been made possible through the intervention of the conductor Philippe Gaubert, with whom Marguerite Soyer had performed several times. In February 1934, she shared a programme at the Conservatoire with Jacques Février, where she performed the FIDELIO aria and Senta's ballade, with Gaubert conducting. Unfortunately at this stage of her career, most of the dramatic parts were already vested to Germaine Lubin, Marcelle Bunlet, or Georgette Caro. Even the young Germaine Hoerner was already involved in most of the Wagner productions. Marguerite Soyer did find the exact place she deserved. Besides, her season debut was the last one before the theatre closed for major reparation. Her debut at the Paris Opera took place on March 18, 1936 as Brangäne. The part of Isolde was sung by Germaine Lubin, De Trévi, Endrèze and Froumenty completed a cast conducted by Paul Paray. Soyer will sing 5 more performances of Brangäne during her first season at Garnier, the performance of May 18 being sung by Bunlet. In the meantime, she appeared as Salome in HERODIADE,  Venus in TANNHAUSER opposite Lubin and Hoerner as Elisabeth and with Lauritz Melchior, for a single performance on June 3 rd 1936. The performances were conducted by Gaubert. During the Winter 1937 she appeared with the Paris Opera at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, as Ortrud in a dream cast lead by Gaubert and including Lubin, Thill, Singher. Her first performance took place on December 9,  and she repeated Ortrud during the whole season. Between the performances in January  and February 1937, she went to Marseille for Brünhilde in a whole  production of the RING in french, conducted George Sebastian. Her career at the Paris Opera was rather short, back  to Garnier she appeared in more performances of LOHENGRIN until the end of the season 1936/1937 with Lubin, Hoerner, De Trevi, under the baton of Paul Paray and Philippe Gaubert. She sang also in ARIANE by Massenet, where she took over the parts of Persephone (in April), and Phèdre (in August). Marguerite Soyer repeated her Ortrud during the 1937/1938 season. In January 1939, she gave the first audion of Louis Aubert's SIX POEMES ARABES for voice and orchestra, with the Orchestre Pasdeloup, and Albert Wolff conducting. I guess her career ended with the WW2. I did found out yet whether she did a career as a teacher, nor where and when she died.

Many thanks to Christophe Delhoume!

In German: zunächst Cellistin, gewann sie einen Preis an der Pariser Conservatoire; sie debütierte 1900 an der Garnier Opera in der Rolle der Amneris. Mit einer Stimme, mit dem man nur zum Teil dem Sopranfach zuordnen kann, sang sie die dramatische Partien wie die Isolde an der Opéra Comique und die Brangäne an der Pariser Opéra. Die Partie der Isolde übernahm sie im Wechsel mit Suzanne Balguérie an der Opéra Comique.

 

GALLERY
as Marguerite
as Eva?
as Carmen? 1924
as Carmen?