Rose Caron was born in 17 November 1857 at Monnerville (Mondeville, Essonne). She studied at the Paris Conservatoire, but was not taken on at the Paris Opera; her husband, an accompanist, encouraged her to take lessons from Marie Sasse who helped her to get engagements at the opera in Brussels (having made her concert debut in 1880).
Caron’s first operatic appearance in Brussels was as Alice in Meyerbeer's Robert le Diable, followed by Salomé in Massenet's Hérodiade and Marguerite in Gounod's Faust; noticed by Ernest Reyer, he chose her to create the role of Brunehild in Sigurd in 1884 (and the Paris premiere in 1885). The title roles in Benjamin Godard's Jocelyn (1888) and Reyer's Salammbo (1890) and were also created by Caron in Brussels.
In 1885 she began singing at the Paris Opera, where she became the chief rival of Lucienne Bréval. Caron was the first in Paris to sing Desdemona in Verdi's Otello. Her repertoire included several Wagnerian roles, including Sieglinde in Die Walküre, as well as Rachel in Halévy's La Juive and Valentine in Meyerbeer's Les Huguenots.
Caron sang a few times with the Société des Concerts du Conservatoire: in December 1885/January 1886, she performed airs from Der Freischütz by Weber and La vestale by Spontini; at the official concert of the Exposition Universelle on 20 June 1889, fragments from Ambroise Thomas's Psyché and excerpts from Reyer's Sigurd; and in March 1895, scenes from Gluck's Alceste.
After 1895, she reduced her public appearances considerably and concentrated on teaching at the Paris Conservatoire (1904–09) and then as a private tutor. One of her pupils was soprano Alice Zeppilli. She left a few recordings dating from 1903 and 1904, for French Fonotipia, that were recorded poorly, and show her past her prime. She died in Paris.
- Steane JB. Rose Caron, in New Grove Dictionary of Opera. Macmillan, London and New York, 1997.
- Gourret J. Dictionnaire des cantatrices de l'Opera de Paris. Editions Albatros, Paris, 1987.
- Wolff S. Un demi-siècle d'Opéra-Comique (1900-1950). André Bonne, Paris, 1953.
- Noel, Édouard, Stoullig, Edmond. Les Annales du Théâtre et de la Musique, dixième année, 1884. G. Charpentier, Paris, 1885, p.377.
- Kern Holoman D. Société des Concerts du Conservatoire. http://hector.ucdavis.edu/Sdc/MainRoll/D.htm. Accessed 2.06.09.
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