Opera Scotland

Mady Mesplé Suggest updates

Born Toulouse, 7 March 1931.

Died 30 May 2020.

French soprano.

For many years, Mady Mesplé held a unique position as the pre-eminent French light coloratura soprano of her day.  She was exceptional in the title role of Delibes' Lakmé, as well as in operettas by Offenbach and Messager.

Mesplé studied in Paris with her illustrious predecessor Janine Micheau, before making her debut in 1953 at Liège as Lakmé.  She used the same vehicle for debuts in Brussels (1955) and Paris Opéra-Comique (1956). 

Among her rare tours outside France was an appearance at the New York Met in 1973 as Gilda.

Mesplé appeared very rarely in Britain, and mainly in recitals. Her only visit to Scotland was as a last minute substitution for an ailing Joan Sutherland, when the Covent Garden Opera brought the Zeffirelli production of Lucia di Lammermoor to the Edinburgh International Festival.


Recordings of opera and operetta include Auber (Manon Manon Lescaut);  Offenbach (Ciboulette Mesdames de la Halle, Eurydice Orphée aux enfers,  Ernestine M Choufleuri restera chez lui, Gabrielle La Vie Parisienne, Catherine Pomme d'api, Olympia Les contes d'Hoffmann); Delibes (Title role Lakmé);  Massenet (Sophie Werther);  Messager (Hélène Véronique).

A few days before her death, the BBC Radio 3 programme Record Review featured Lakmé in its 'Building a Library' slot. Mesplé's recording, made in 1970, was chosen as the best overall.

Roles in Scotland

Lucia Lucy Ashton, Henry's Sister
Lucia di Lammermoor 1961

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