Roze, Marie

1846-

 

French operatic soprano; ne'e Pousin; the daughter of a lawyer in high standing in Paris. By the advice of Auber she began to study at thirteen under Molker at the Conservatory, where in 1865 she won the first prize both in singing and in comic opera. Two years later she made her debut at the Opera Comique in the title role of Herold's Marie, and was immediately engaged for several years. During that time she appeared in various operas, creating several parts, notably that of Djalma in Auber's Le Premier Jour de Bonheur, at the composer's request, in 1868, also, in 1870, that of Jeanne in L'Ombre, by Flotow. At the close of this engagement a brief period of retirement followed, during which she studied grand opera under Martel, Gounod and Ambroise Thomas. Her debut in this new field occurred at the Grand Opera, 1869, as Marguerite in Faust; she also sang during the season at the Tuileries concerts, which ceased on the outbreak of the war of 1870. Throughout the hostilities she remained in Paris, organized a private ambulance, turned her home into a hospital for the sick and injured, and nursed them herself. For these patriotic services she was awarded the Geneva Cross.

 

After peace was restored she toured Holland and Belgium, then went to England. She sang in London as Marguerite and as Marcelline in Les Deux Journees, and was thereupon engaged at Drury Lane for five years, becoming a favorite in opera and concert, and appearing with especial distinction as Berengaria in Balfe's Talisman, 1874. From 1877 to 1879 she toured America in Italian Opera under Max Strakosch with much success, and then returned to London, where she was engaged at once at Her Majesty's Theatre. She was married first to Julius Perkins, an American basso of promise who died in 1875, and afterwards to Colonel Henry Mapleson, eldest son of her English impresario, but separated from him after a married life of some years. Having studied oratorio under Joseph Pittman, she appeared in that line in 1881-1882, as well as in concert, singing through Great Britain and Ireland. From 1883 to 1887 she was a member of the Carl Rosa Opera Compand. Mme. Roze was the first to sing in English a number of parts, including Carmen; Donna Maria in Ruy Bias; the title role in Massenet's Manon Lescaut; and Margaret and Helen in Boito's Mefistofele. Lahee states that Bizet wrote Carmen for her, but that owing to a previous engagement she was unable to undertake the title role on its production; however, she was a celebrated Carmen later. She possessed versatile talents and much personal beauty and charm. After her retirement from the operatic stage she settled in Paris as a teacher, singing at times in concerts.