Blanche Arral

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Blanche Arral (10 October 1864 – 3 March 1945) was a Belgian coloratura soprano.

Born Clara Lardinois in Liège, Belgium, the youngest of 17 children, she studied under Mathilde Graumann Marchesi in Paris. She debuted in a small part in the 1884 world premiere of Jules Massenet's Manon. Arral performed in various opera houses in Brussels, Paris and St. Petersburg before moving to the United States.

In 1901 she was with a touring company in Indochina, while waiting for the 1902 Exposition of Hanoi to open, performing at Haiphong and the Hanoi Opera House.[1]

In October 1909 she debuted at Carnegie Hall and joined the Metropolitan Opera for the 1909–1910 season. She received her voice instruction from Mathilde Graumann Marchesi. Arral was married to Hamilton Dwight Bassett, a journalist from Cincinnati.[2] Author Jack London based the character of Lucille Arral in his short story collection Smoke Bellew on Blanche Arral.

She died in Palisades Park, New Jersey.


  1. ^ The extraordinary operatic adventures of Blanche Arral Ira Glackens, William R. Moran - 2002 -"Like so many theaters in remote places, it was a small-scale model of the Paris Opera, new and with all the latest equipment for theatrical productions. It was our plan to give performances in Haiphong until such time as the International Exposition at Hanoi opened, and then to alternate between the two cities."
  2. ^ Glackens, Ira (2002). The Extraordinary Operatic Adventures of Blanche Arral. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 313. ISBN 1-57467-077-8. 

Historic Opera - photo