Personalities | Cornélie Falcon | Early Romantic | Opera

1814–97, French

Cornélie Falcon’s singing career was brief. At 18 she made her debut at the Paris Opéra in 1832, singing the role of Alice in Giacomo Meyerbeer’s (1791–1864) Robert le diable. However, Falcon was a mezzo-soprano who wanted to be a soprano and ruined her full, resonant voice by forcing it too high. By 1838 her career was over and an attempt to return in 1840 was an embarrassing failure. Nevertheless, despite her few years on stage, Falcon achieved a great deal. She created Rachel, the tragic heroine of Jacques-François-Fromental Halévy’s (1799–1862) La juive and Valentine in Meyerbeer’s Les Huguenots among other important roles. Falcon was a fine actress, and together with the French tenor Adolphe Nourrit (1802–39) raised the artistic status of the Paris Opéra. Her voice came to typify the dramatic soprano roles in which she specialized, and its type is today called ‘Falcon soprano’.

Introduction | Early Romantic | Opera
Personalities | Friedrich von Flotow | Early Romantic | Opera
Houses & Companies | Paris Opéra | High Romantic | Opera


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