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Denise Duval (b1921)

Denise Duval studied at the Conservatoire in Bordeaux, where she made her operatic stage debut as Lola / Cavalleria rusticana in 1943 before turning to light music, appearing in revue at the Folies Bergères in Paris during 1944. Her debuts at the two major Parisian opera houses came in 1947: as Salomé in Massenet’s Hérodiade at the Opera and as Butterfly at the Opéra-Comique, where in the same year she created the role of Thérèse in the premiere of Les Mamelles de Tirésias at the invitation of the composer Francis Poulenc, who was to become a lifelong musical colleague. Later premieres in which she participated at the Opéra-Comique included Le Oui des jeunes filles by Reynaldo Hahn (1949) and Dolores by Michel-Maurice Lévy (1952). At the Opera she sang the title role in Massenet’s Thaïs (1950), Rozenn / Le Roi d’Ys, the Princess in Henri Rabaud’s Mârouf, Portia in Hahn’s Le Marchand de Venise, Concepción in Ravel’s L’Heure espagnole and Blanche in the Paris premiere of Poulenc’s masterpiece Dialogues des Carmélites (1957).




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