Marie Caroline Miolan-Carvalho

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Caroline Carvalho as Marguerite in Gounod's Faust (1873)

Marie Caroline Miolan-Carvalho (31 December 1827, Marseille - 10 July 1895, Château-Puys, near Dieppe) was a famed French operatic soprano, particularly associated with light lyric and coloratura roles.

Born Marie Caroline Félix-Miolan, she studied first with her father, François Félix-Miolan, an oboist, and later at the Paris Conservatory with Gilbert Duprez. She made her stage debut in Brest, as Isabelle in Le prophète, in 1849. The following year, she made her debut in Paris in the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor, later singing in Le Pré aux clercs, Les Huguenots, Der Freischütz, Hamlet, etc.

In 1853, she married Léon Carvalho, a French impresario and future director of the Opéra-Comique, where she also sang regularly.

She appeared at the Théâtre Lyrique from 1856 to 1867, mostly in Mozart and Rossini roles, but also created there an estimated 30 roles, notably by Charles Gounod such as Marguerite in Faust, Baucis in Philémon et Baucis, the title role in Mireille and Juliette in Roméo et Juliette, but also Louis Clapisson's La Fanchonnette, Victor Massé's Les noces de Jeanette, Ambroise Thomas's La cour de Célimène.

She made frequent guest appearances at the Royal Opera House in London (1859–72), also appearing in Berlin and Saint Petersburg. She retired from the stage in 1885, as Marguerite. After retirement, she taught singing in Paris.

Noted for her vocal purity and coloratura precision, she was one of the most famous French singer of her day.

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