Personalities | Marie Fel | Late Baroque | Opera
The daughter of a Bordeaux organist, Marie Fel studied singing with Mme Van Loo, and gave her operatic debut in October 1734. Mentioned in Rousseau’s Confessions, Fel was one of the most famous singers of the Académie Royale de Musique, and was a regular soloist at the Concert Spirituel and the Concerts chez la Reine. From 1739, she performed in many productions, including most of Rameau’s operas: she created leading roles in Castor et Pollux, Dardanus, Les indes galantes, Platée and Zoroastre. The technique and quality of Fel’s singing, along with that of other singers such as her pupil Sophie Arnould, allowed Rameau to compose a more prominent number of demanding ariettes in his later operas. Fel also sang in works by Lully, Campra and Jean-Joseph de Mondonville (1711–72). She retired in 1758.
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