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Marie Roze, soprano
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Marie Roze ( Marie-Hippolyte Ponsin) (1846-1926) - French Mezzo-Soprano
Marie Roze (Marie-Hippolyte Ponsin) a mezzo-soprano born 2 March 1846 in France. She debuted at the Paris Opera Comique in Herold's "Marie" in 1865, and later appeared in the roles of Anne in "La Dame Blanche," as Zerlina in "Fra Diavolo," and as Marguerite in "Le Pre aux Clercs." By 1868, she was considered the most popular operatic singer in Paris. She appeared the principal part in Auber's "Le Premier Jour du Bonheur" which was especially written for her. Her first appearance at the Grand Opera in December 1869 was in the role of Marguerite in Gounod's "Faust." She traveled to London for performance in "Faust" at Her Majesty's Theatre on May 18, 1872. Director, James Henry Mapleson, offered her a five year engagement which she accepted. She later married Mapleson's oldest son Henry and a child, Raymond Roze, later produced operas at Covent Garden. During her five years in London she sang all the great roles and gained enormous popularity with the British audiences. She was best known for her roles in "Manon" and is thought to have been Bizet's first choice for "Carmen." She once sang "Ave Maria" accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh playing the violin at Albert Hall. She joined Carl Roza traveling company to tour the U.S. Her voice was described as a "lovely soft mezzo-soprano." Marie had desired to sing the lead role in "Il Rinnegato" but the soprano part was too high for her to accomplish and it was finally sung by Emma Juch, an American born singer. Marie Roze died on 21 June 1926.
(Kindly contributed by T. Max Hochstetler, June 2007)