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Marie Sasse, soprano, seen here as ‘Maria Stuarda‘
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Marie Sasse (1838-1907) - Belgian soprano
Marie-Constance Sasse (also known as Sax or Sass) was born at Ghent on 26 Jan 1834. The Belgian soprano studied with Ugalde. She worked as a vocalist in cafés to support her family after her father died. Making her professional debut in 1852 at Venice in the role of Gilda in Verdi's opera, "Rigoletto." She created Selika of L'Africaine singing the part for the first time on 28 Apr 1865 and Elizabeth in Don Carlos on 11 Mar 1867. Marie Sasse was the first Paris Elisabeth in "Tannhauser" production of 1861. She was well known for her temperament and it got her in trouble with Verdi who refused to let her create the role of Amneris because of it. She was married to bass Castlemary, whom she later divorced. She used the stage name of Sax for awhile until Adolphe Sax, creator of the saxophone, forced her to drop the use of that name. She died in poverty on 8 Nov 1907.
(Kindly contributed by T. Max Hochstetler, June 2007)