Hi Dalkeith, I had seen your thoughtful message about Saint-Huberty, but I was not able to answer it before owing to the lack of time and to my being involved in the sudden translation from the Italian to the English Wikipedia of two articles (Chimène and Antonio Sacchini) which I had long dealt with. I was actually amazed at the standard of thorough search (= livello di approfondimento) you are carrying out about a historic figure you hardly knew beforehand, but I am afraid I won't be able to help you any further. As for Saint-Uberty's taking part in the performances of Nephté (the libretto bears no reference to a further reine d'Égypte), you have already somehow worked out the problem. For my part I could maybe suggest a different solution: possibly removing the item from the repertoire table and briefly treating instead available information (with reference to Hoffmann's dedication) in the body of the article (and/or in footnotes).
As for Pitou, his books on the Paris Opéra are full of infomartion to be hardly found elsewhere, but they are often rather unreliable and weakened by his not being a professional musicologist.
As for Lucia Valentini-Terrani (last, but by no means the least), whatever Piazzetta L. V.-T. may be or look like, I fully share your appreciation of her (I hope you saw the 1976 performance of Cenerentola which has been reported to have caused a furore). I was a real fan of her. I bumped into Lucia on TV in the seventies when I did non know opera yet, and I was deeply and enduringly impressed. Some years later, when I was going to become an opera-goer, I chose her Cenerentola in Trieste for my first opera trip. During the eighties she was my favourite and I followed her around seeing wonderful performances, from Rossini male characters (in which she was unattainable, also as an actress: 1981 Turin Semiramide was probably the most exciting operatic spectacle in my life and I still keep wondering why the RAI recording of it has never been released in DVD) to the French opera ones (Mignon and Charlotte) and to a fairly disappointing Orfeo In Naples. I miss her very much indeed.
Buona sera Jeanambr, and thank you very much for your message earlier today.
I have been trying to discover a bit more about Mme. Saint-Huberty by looking rather more carefully at some of the sources. Unfortunately, progress has been disappointingly slow because (1) I find that some of the French texts are quite difficult (for my level, that is!), and (2) I have also been busy with other things. But, just to let you know: Antonietta has not been abbandonata, by any means!
About Nephté - I have found another reference which suggests that Saint-Huberty may have performed this opera: it is at http://www.artlyriquefr.fr/dicos/Opera%20Cantatrices.html Now, the question which needs to be asked is "where did the website obtain that information from? Can it be traced to Campardon (1884)?" If so, the information might (perhaps) have to be treated with some caution - but maybe there are other sources? Saint-Huberty appears to have left France either on 3rd April 1790, or very soon after that. So, in terms of the time factor, yes, it is possible that she could have sung Nephté at least once (or even more than once!), but we really need to know when.
Other roles - I found a suggestion that she sang (1) Amor and (2) Eurydice at revivals of Orfée et Eurydice around 1778/79, which seems plausible, although maybe it's best not to include this in the list just yet.
About Count Alfonso Turconi - his role in Saint-Huberty's life seems to have been very similar indeed to that of the duke in Dumas's La dame aux camélias ! In other words, Saint-Huberty used him as "the lover with the money" - she may perhaps not have liked him very much, but nevertheless he was useful to her because he used to give her extremely expensive presents - such as the house at Groslay, for example. D'Antrigues was the "main lover" (the equivalent of Armand in Dumas), but he was not as rich as Turconi, which is why she needed to have both men around her at the same time. Returning once again to John Neumeier's ballet for a moment, and extending this whole idea (as Neumeier does) to the example of Prévost's Manon Lescaut, I think there are one or two interesting parallels. Saint-Huberty was a woman who wanted riches (rather like Manon did), and, to achieve this, she worked extremely hard at the beginning of her career. Some of her success was undoubtedly due to her ambition and determination to succeed. But then, after she had established her position as the "Number One" among the female singers at the Opéra, she became more and more temperamental, capricious and "difficult" - she abused her power to a very great extent. Then, in 1790, the Manon/Saint Huberty and Des Grieux/d'Antraigues analogy suddenly becomes reversed - it is Saint-Huberty (the woman) who sacrifices everything in order to follow d'Antraigues (the man), and not vice-versa, as in Prévost. So, maybe these examples taken from literature, together with the Neumeier ballet, are helpful in trying to understand Saint-Huberty, after all! But, when we come closer to the end of the story, the literary parallels must stop - Saint-Huberty became troppo insopportabile - even for D'Antraigues - and it appears that the marriage was on the brink of collapse.
The L.V-T. performance of Cenerentola which I saw at Covent Garden was on Saturday, 13 March 1976. It was the last of five performances of the opera - Teresa Berganza sang at the first one on 3 March, and L.V-T. sang at all the others, which were on 5, 8, 11 and 13 March. Definitely one of the most memorable opera performances I have ever attended!
Thank you very much for pointing that out. It's interesting - and the Nephté mystery deepens! Do you know where the information was taken from? Re Dauvergne: because he was prompted by such an enormous dislike of Saint-Huberty, whom he claimed was "the most unpleasant woman ever to have appeared at the Opéra," I wonder whether his evidence can be taken as wholly reliable. Regarding Saint-Huberty's alleged "loss of voice": I noticed the other day that Richard Somerset-Ward (2004), Angels and Monsters: Male and Female Sopranos in the Story of Opera. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, pp. 162-163, estimates that Saint-Huberty might have continued to sing for another ten years at the Opéra, if she had not decided to retire. But, against that, there is the example of Saint-Huberty's contemporary Praskovia Kovalyova-Zhemchugova, whose voice disappeared almost overnight (though, admittedly, that might perhaps have been because of the initial stages of consumption - see D. Smith (2008) The Pearl - this book is cited in the P.K-Z. references). Cordiali saluti - Dalkeith46 (talk) 14:49, 27 September 2013 (UTC)
Source needed for Children's Order of Chivalry
I've created the article Children's Order of Chivalry and wonder if you've got access to the Blunt book on Muriel Paget, and if so whether you could send me a scan or photo of the page(s) relating to this organisation, so I can add a few more details? Alternatively feel free to add the details yourself, either way would be helpful. asnac (talk) 16:30, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
- These are extremely useful sources for this fascinating but forgotten organisation, and I'll use them to improve the page - thank you so much for your meticulous work. asnac (talk) 19:31, 21 January 2014 (UTC)