V0938. CHARLOTTE TIRARD: Songs by Delibes & Chausson; Arias from Faust, Le Cid, La Reine de Saba, Grisélidis, Cinq Mars, La Tasse, Madama Butterfly & Tosca; MARGUERITE SOYER: Arias from Tristan & Götterdämmerung. (France) Malibran 614. - 3760003776148
“The beautiful soprano Charlotte Tirard is an example of a gifted French singer who eschewed international stardom and performed almost exclusively in her native country. Although she was favorably compared to the biggest stars on the continent, Tirard sang the bulk of her career in Paris, making only brief forays into Belgium and England.
Tirard made her stage début at the Opéra-Comique at the relatively late age of 39 as Helmwige in a French language production of DIE WALKÜRE. It was a role that she would return to many times in her career. During her career in Paris, Tirard became identified with several roles. One of the most important of these for her was as Marguerite in LA DAMNATION OF FAUST. This role has traditionally been a strong vehicle for a talented soprano, and Tirard turned it into a personal tour-de-force. One of the most memorable stagings occurred during the 1920 season when she sang with Thill as Faust and the marvelous Marcel Journet as Méphistophèles. It was the biggest night of the year and the critics raved. Another role which Tirard sang often and well was Massenet's Thaïs, another vehicle for a strong soprano. Her performances with Thill as Nicias and the baritone Vanni-Marcoux were lauded by fans and critics alike. Tirard also enjoyed great success in many other operas of Massenet, including MANON, LE CID and GRISÉLIDIS.
Tirard made several guest appearances in Monte Carlo and was adored by the fans there. During her years there Monte Carlo was drawing singers from all over Europe and assembling some unbelievable casts. In the 1930 season she sang several of her most famous roles. She loved to perform with Vanni-Marcoux, who was considered to be one of the best operatic actors of his day. While in Monte Carlo she appeared in BORIS GODUNOV as Marina, starring with Vanni-Marcoux as Boris. Tirard also starred in three performances of DIE AGYPTISCHE HELENE, appearing with Ferrer, Faniard and Foliguet. Tirard's personal best showing was in TANNHÄUSER, starring as Elisabeth, with Thill in the title role. Tirard often sang the Wagnerian roles and enjoyed many of her greatest successes in those operas. Fortunately, in between the wars there was a resurgence of the German operas in France, so Tirard had the opportunity to showcase her talents. In addition to her Elisabeth and Helmwige she also appeared in PARSIFAL, RHEINGOLD and several of the Mozart operas.
Tirard was also quite noted for her treatment of the traditional Puccini works. She was especially loved for her performances of Mimi, which she sang over 50 times in France. She was also known as the ‘Greatest French Tosca’. She was always totally dedicated to her art, always working hard to learn new roles and to improve her singing. Tirard will always be remembered for what she was: a versatile singer, blessed with an incredible voice and a divine inner beauty.”
- R.P. Connell
“Marguerite Soyer made her début at the La Monnaie during the 1922/1923 season. She sang the role of Abla in ANTAR by Gabriel Dupont, a role created by Fanny Heldy. Soyer was the first FRANCESCA DA RIMINI when the piece was created in Brussels in November 1923, and in the premiere of Borrenson-Hakon's opera KADDARA, she sang the title part with the agreement of the composer. The premiere took place on 17 March, 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. She was contracted for the 1925/1926 season of the l’Opéra-Comique, making her début there as MADAMA BUTTERFLY on 21 October, with Miguel Villabella. Marguerite Soyer remained on the Opéra-Comique's roster for the next ten years. She was to take on more dramatic parts to face the competition with Germaine Lubin. 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. She then appeared at the Opera-Comique for the premiere of the TRISTAN revival two months later on 10 October, with Wolff again at the pit. This is a huge success, which will be repeated all along the season. Marguerite Soyer sang MADAMA BUTTERFLY on 22 May, 1929, for the 500 th performance of that piece at the Opéra-Comique. Meanwhile, Marguerite Soyer also appeared in French opera houses. A regular guest of the Capitole in Toulouse, she also joined the roster of the Opéra de Lyon during the 1933/1934 season for LOHENGRIN which she sang on 7 January, 1934 with Madeleine David and Georges Thill, and for OTELLO on 6 February, 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 HÉRODIADE with Vezzani, and in Nizza for Brünhilde in SIGURD. Marguerite Soyer was approached by the Paris Grand Opéra for a contract for 1936/1937 season. Her début at the Paris Opéra took place on 18 March, 1936 as… Brangäne. The part of Isolde was sung by Germaine Lubin; de Trévi, Endrèze and Froumenty completed the cast, conducted by Paul Paray. In the meantime, she appeared as Salomé in HÉRODIADE, Venus in TANNHÄUSER opposite Lubin and Hoerner as Elisabeth and with Lauritz Melchior, for a single performance on 3 June, 1936. The performances were conducted by Gaubert. During the winter 1937 she appeared with the Paris Opéra at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, as Ortrud led by Gaubert, including Lubin, Thill and Singher. Between the performances in 1937, she went to Marseille for Brünnhilde in a production of the RING in French, conducted George Sébastian. She sang also in Massenet’s ARIANE, where she took over the parts of Perséphone (in April), and Phèdre (in August). Marguerite Soyer repeated her Ortrud during the 1937/1938 season. In January 1939, she gave the first performance of Louis Aubert's SIX POÈMES ARABES for voice and orchestra, with the Orchestre Pasdeloup, Albert Wolff conducting.”
- Christophe Delhoume