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Lucy Arbell

Lucy Arbell (8 June 1878 – 21 May 1947) was a French mezzo-soprano whose operatic career was mainly centred in Paris and who was particularly associated with the composer Jules Massenet. She created the roles of Queen Amahelli in Massenet's opera Bacchus, inspired by Greek mythology, in which the gods appear in human form in ancient India to attempt to persuade the people away from the pervading Buddhist influence. This photograph, taken by the French photographer Nadar, depicts Arbell in the role of Queen Amahelli for the 1909 premiere of Bacchus at the Palais Garnier in Paris.

Photograph credit: Nadar; restored by Adam Cuerden

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