Before introducing Régine Crespin, I want to describe what a Falcon soprano is. The term “Falcon” comes from Marie Cornélie Falcon, a French singer who lived from 1814–1897. Roles that demand a combination of dramatic soprano and dramatic mezzo-soprano are now referred to as “falcon,” a term borrowed from Marie Cornélie Falcon because she sang so many roles that overlapped between the soprano and mezzo-soprano voice.
Ms. Crespin was born on February 23, 1927 and died on July 5, 2007. Crespin made her Lyric and Met debuts in 1962. Substituting for the ailing Renata Tebaldi in the title role of Puccini’s “Tosca” in Chicago, Crespin scored a triumph with the public and press.
Crespin went on to prove her versatility in other parts. Among many other, she sang Amelia in Verdi’s “Un Ballo in Maschera,” Leonore in Beethoven’s “Fidelio” and Elisabeth in Wagner’s “Tannhauser.” She assumed the dual role of the Prima Donna and Ariadne in Strauss’ “Ariadne auf Naxos”.
She well known and admired for her performances in the French and German repertoire, including large, dramatic Wagner roles.