Today, I am posting someone who could be called a “forgotten singer”. In most writing about her, Gabrielle Ritter-Ciampi is referred to as a light lyric soprano, and from her recordings, this was probably the case.

The sound on these recordings is generally not very good. I am asking you to listen through the sound and to hear what she must have sounded like in her time. She has a very good colaratula technique, and her pitch is generally very good. She is an expressive singer without over-acting and without darkening her voice.

Mozart, L’amerò, sarò costante, from Il re pastore

L’amerò, sarò costante:
Fido sposo, e fido amante
Sol per lei sospirerò.

In sì caro e dolce oggetto
La mia gioia, il mio diletto,
La mia pace io troverò.

Mozart, I shall love her. I shall be faithful, from The Shepard King

I shall love her, I shall be faithful,
A loyal husband and a faithful lover.
I shall only sigh for her.

In such a dear and sweet object,
I shall find my joy,
my delight, and my peace.

Gounod, Mireille, O légère hirondelle

O légère hirondelle,
Messagère fidèle
Vers mon ami
Vole gaîment
Et conte-lui
Mon doux tourment,
Parle-lui, pour moi-même,
Et dis-lui que je l’aime!

O légère hirondelle,
Messagère fidèle
Vers mon ami
Vole gaîment
Vole, vole gaîment! ah!

Gounod, Mireille, Oh, light swallow,

Oh, light swallow
Faithful messenger,
To my friend,
Fly merrily
And tell him
My sweet agony,
Speak to him for me,
And tell him that I love him!

Oh, light swallow,
Faithful messenger,
To my friend,
Fly merrily
Fly, fly merrily, ah!

Gounod, Roméo et Juliette, Je veux vivre

Ah

Je veux vivre
Dans ce rêve
Qui m’enivre
Ce jour encore

Douce flamme
Je te garde
Dans mon âme
Comme un trésor

Je veux vivre
Dans ce rêve
Qui m’enivre
Ce jour encore

Douce flamme
Je te garde
Dans mon âme
Comme un trésor

Cette ivresse
De jeunesse
Ne dure, hélas, qu’un jour
Puis vient l’heure
Où l’on pleure
Le coeur cède à l’amour
Et le bonheur fuit sans retour

Ah
Je veux vivre
Dans ce rêve
Qui m’enivre
Ce jour encore

Douce flamme
Je te garde
Dans mon âme
Comme un trésor

Loin de l’hiver morose
Laisse-moi
Laisse-moi sommeiller
Et respirer la rose
Respirer la rose
Avant de l’effeuiller

Ah, ah, ah, ah
Douce flamme
Reste dans mon âme
Comme un doux trésor
Longtemps encore

Ah
Comme un trésor
Longtemps encore

Gounod, Roméo et Juliette, Juliette’s Walz

Oh

I want to live
In this dream
That intoxicates me
Today again.

Sweet flame
I am keeping you
In my soul
Like a treasure

I want to live
In this dream
That intoxicates me
Today again

Sweet flame
I am keeping you
In my soul
Like a treasure.

This youthful intoxication
Only lasts, alas, one day
Then comes the time
In which one weeps
The heart yields to love
And happiness flees without return

Ah
I want to live
In this dream
That intoxicates me
Today again

Sweet flame
I am keeping you
In my soul
Like a treasure

Far from the sad winter
Let me, let me sleep
And breathe the rose
Before pulling off its petals

Ah, ah, ah, ah
Sweet flame
Stay in my soul
Like a treasure
For a long time yet

Ah
Like a treasure
For a long time yet.

Compare with Callas, and please keep in mind that Callas had a much larger voice than Ritter-Ciampi. Callas had a great deal of coloratura training, like earlier sopranos.

Gabrielle Ritter-Ciampi
November 2, 1886 – July 18, 1974

There is relatively little material on the internet about Gabrielle Ritter-Ciampi. Ritter-Ciampi was born into a musical family. Despite her name, she was French. The “Ritter” was added by both her mother, a star soprano, and her uncle, a composer and pianist.

She initially trained as a pianist. She began training as a vocal performer at 16. She made her debut, as Violetta, at 31. She sang, principally, in France until after WWII (1949).