OP0198. LAKME, Broadcast Performance, 1955, w.Gressier Cond. Radio-Lyrique Ensemble; Mado Robin, Agnes Disney, Charles Richard, Pierre Savignol, Camille Maurane, Nadine Sautereau, etc. (France) 2-Rodolphe 32426/27. w.16pp. Libretto-Brochure. Very long out-of-print, Final Copy!
“The times of the small and high soprano voice were almost over after the war. During the twenties and thirties Toti Dal Monte in Italy, Erna Sack in Germany and Lily Pons in France could still have huge successes in some coloratura rôles and start from there on a world career. During the fifties this became difficult as Callas succeeded in giving a whole new meaning to Mado Robin’s favourite rôle: Lucia. Robin studied with Mario Podesta, friend and co-student at Fernando de Lucia’s lessons with Georges Thill. He succeeded in giving her an excellent Italian technique: the legato is outstanding, the coloratura is fine and yes there are the unbelievable high notes, though at first Podesta was very careful. Only after several years Robin was allowed to sing a high D. Then she gradually discovered the voice upon the voice which indeed made her the highest female voice ever to sing a melodic line; contrary to some ladies like Sumac who could only hit some notes but not ascend and descend in a classic song or aria. As it became Robin’s trade mark she was always careful to interpolate some of those ‘money notes’ in her performances, there were some rows with conductors who detested her doing it though they well knew the public expected and loved it. During her LUCIA performance in San Francisco in 1954, the management requested her not to sing her usual high D above high D in the ‘Il dolce suono’ section of the mad scene for fear of offending Lily Pons who attended the performance. Mado Robin did not comply. People who heard her in that gigantic barn said the voice was more beautiful and carried better than the Pons sound. Her French colleagues tell us it was not a big sound, but it was crystal clear and projected well. The Robin voice is not only a wonder of nature but it was handled with musicality, style, charm and it has lovely and immediately recognizable colours.”
- Jan Neckers
“Robin was born in Yzeures-sur-Creuse, Touraine, where she owned the Château Les Vallées. A star of television and radio in the 1950s, she was well known in France. Among her rôles were Lakmé, which she recorded for Decca Records in 1952 (with Georges Sébastian conducting), Lucia di Lammermoor, Olympia in THE TALES OF HOFFMANN, Gilda in RIGOLETTO, Rosina in THE BARBER OF SEVILLE, and Leyla in LES PÊCHEURS DE PERLES. In 1954, she went to San Francisco to sing Lucia and Gilda, and had a successful tour of the Soviet Union with sixteen concerts over a few weeks. She died prematurely in 1960 as a result of cancer. A museum to her life opened in her home town in 2009.”
- Z. D. Akron