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Regine Crespin (1927 - 2007)

When Régine Crespin was five, her parents moved to Nîmes, where they opened a large shoe shop. Her mother, an alcoholic, hoped that she would become a pharmacist; but when this ambition was thwarted by Crespin’s failure to gain her Baccalauréat at the age of sixteen, her father agreed that she could study singing. Her first lessons were with a Madame Lossa, and after three years she entered the Paris Conservatoire where she studied with Suzanne Cesbron-Viseur (a pupil of Pauline Viardot- Garcia), Georges Jouatte and the distinguished bass Paul Cabanel. In 1950 Crespin won first prize for both opera and opéra-comique singing and second prize for singing; but unusually was not immediately offered a contract with the Paris Opera. She had however already made her professional operatic stage debut, in 1949 as Charlotte / Werther at Reims, and in 1950 she successfully sang Elsa / Lohengrin at Mulhouse.




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