As I have mentioned in other posts, writing this blog affords me the opportunity to encounter wonderful singers whom I didn’t know before. Martha Angelici is one of those. The moment that I heard her, I was amazed. She is always in tune, and the placement of the air is very high and beautiful. I hope that you will enjoy discovering her as much as I enjoyed listening to her.

Elle a fui, la tourterelle
Les Contes d’Hoffmann par Jacques Offenbach

Elle a fui, la tourterelle!
Ah! souvenir trop doux!
Image trop cruelle!
Hélas! à mes genoux,
Je l’entends, je le vois!
Je l’entends, je le vois!

Elle a fui, la tourterelle,
Elle a fui loin de toi;
Mais elle est toujours fidèle
Et te garde sa foi.
Mon bienaimé, ma voix t’appelle,
Oui, tout mon coeur est à toi.

Chère fleur qui viens d’éclore
Par pitié réponds moi!
Toi qui sais s’il m’aime encore,
S’il me garde sa foi!
Mon bienaimé, ma voix t’implore,
Ah! que ton coeur vienne à moi.
Elle a fui, la tourterelle,
Elle a fui loin de toi.

She has fled, the turtledove
The Tales of Hoffman, by Jacques Offenbach

She has fled, the turtledove,
Ah, memory too sweet!
Image too cruel.
Alas! on my knees
I hear it, I see it!
I hear it, I see it.

She has fled, the turtledove,
She has fled far from you;
But she is always loyal
She keeps the faith with you.
My beloved, my voice calls you,
Yes, all my heart belongs to you.

Dear flower that has just bloomed
Out of pity answer me!
You who knows that he still loves me,
Let him keep his faith with me!
My beloved, my voice implores you,
Ah!, let your heart come to me.
She has fled, the turtledove,
She has fled far from you.

Pie Jesu, Fauré Requiem, IV Adagio

Pie Jesu Domine,
Dona eis requiem.

Pie Jesu Domine,
Dona eis requiem sempiternam

Pie Jesu, Fauré Requiem, IV Adagio

Pious Lord Jesus,
Give them rest.

Pious Lord Jesus,
Give them everlasting rest.

Gounod, Mireille, Acte IV, Voice la vaste plaine . . .

MIREILLE
Voici la vaste plaine et le désert de feu.
Dieu bon, fais que Mireille accomplisse son vœu!
En marche, ainsi que Maguelonne!
Les ailes de l’amour et le vent de la foi,
Sous le ciel ardent qui rayonne!
Jadis l’emportaient comme moi!
Ni de la mer l’onde écumante,
Ni les éclairs, ni la tourmente,
Ni les traits enflammés du jour,
N’ont arrêté la pauvre amante,
La pèlerine de l’amour!
Elle fait quelques pas
Mais le ciel m’éblouit!… le jour m’aveugle!
Elle s’arrête
Où suis-je?
Je me sens prise de vertige!…
Tendant les mains vers l’horizon
Et là-bas, ô prodige!
Dans l’azur transparent des cieux,
Quel rêve de terre promise
Tout à coup surgit à mes yeux!
On voit au loin se dessiner dans le ciel, par un effet de mirage, une ville miraculeuse au bord d’un grand lac entouré d’arbres.
Est-ce Jérusalem et sa pieuse église,
Ou le tombeau des Saintes de la mer?
L’image disparaît peu à peu et s’efface
Mais non!… la vision s’évanouit dans l’air,
L’image ailée
S’est envolée!
Elle s’élance en avant et s’affaisse tout à coup en poussant un cri de douleur et en portant ses mains à son front.
Ah! de sa flèche d’or le soleil m’a blessée! …
Je meurs!… adieu, Vincent, adieu!… pleure ta fiancée!
Mireille tombe à terre évanouie, cependant qu’on entend au loin la musette du berger. Sur les dernières mesures, Mireille revient d’elle.
Non, non! Je ne mourrai pas!
Je ne veux pas mourir! marchons encore!
En marche, ainsi que Maguelonne!
Les ailes de l’amour et le vent de la foi,
Sous le ciel ardent qui rayonne!
Jadis l’emportaient comme moi!
Ni de la mer l’onde écumante,
Ni les éclairs, ni la tourmente,
Ni les traits enflammés du jour,
N’ont arrêté la pauvre amante,
La pèlerine de l’amour!
En marche!… En marche!… En marche!…
Ah!
Elle a disparu au loin en chantant la fin de cet air.

Gounod, Mireille Act IV, Here are the wide plain . .

MIREILLE
Here are the wide plain and the fiery desert,
Merciful God, let Mireille fulfil her pledge!
Forward, as Maguelonne did!
The wings of love and the wind of faith,
Beneath the burning and shining sky,
Once carried her away as they do me!
Neither the foaming waves of the sea,
Nor lightning bolts, nor the tempest,
Nor the flaming arrows of the sun
Have not stopped the wretched lover
Love’s pilgrim!
She takes several steps
But the sky dazzles me!… Daylight blinds me!
She stops.
Where am I?
I feel dizzy and ready to fall!
Extending her hands to the horizon
And over there, O miracle!
In the transparent blue of the sky,
What is this dream of a promised land
That suddenly rises up in front of my eyes!
In the distance looming in the sky, a mirage appears, a miraculous city on the shores of a large lake surrounded by trees.
Is this Jerusalem and its holy church?
Or the tomb of the Saints of the Sea?
The image disappears bit by bit and dissolves.
But, no! The vision vanishes into thin air,
The winged image
Has flown away!
She rushes forward and collapses suddenly in sorrow while putting her hands to her forehead.
Ah! with its golden arrow, the sun has wounded me…
I am dying! Farewell, Vincent, farewell! Weep for your fiancée!
Mireille falls to the ground, fainting, however one can hear the music of the far off shephard. At the last minute, she revives.
No, no! I will not die!
I do not want to die! Let us walk on!
On I go, as Maguelonne did,
The wings of love and the wind of faith,
Under the fiery sky that shines!
Once carried her away as they do me!
Neither the sea nor the foaming wave,
Neither bolts of thunder, nor the tempest,
Nor the flaming arrows of the sun,
Have not stopped the wretched lover,
Love’s pilgrim!
Forward!…Forward…Forward…
Ah!
She disappears in the distance, while singing the end of the aria.

Born: May 22, 1907 – Cargèse, Corsica
Died: September 11, 1973 – Ajaccio, Corsica

The French soprano of Corsican origin, Marta [Martha] Angelici, moved while still very young with her family to Belgium, where she studied voice in Brussels with Alfred Mahy. She began singing for the Belgian, Dutch and Luxembourgish radio in 1933 and gave her first public concert at the Kurzaal of Ostend in 1934. Her first stage performance was in Marseille, as Mimi in La bohème, in 1936.

Marta Angelici made her debut in 1938 as La Plieuse in Louise by Charpentier at the Opéra-Comique, where she had a long and successful career.. Her husband, François Agostin, was the director of Paris Opéra after 1945. She made her debut at the Palais Garnier in 1953, as Micaela in Carmen. Other notable roles included Leila, Pamina, Nedda, Mimi in La bohème, Madama Butterfly, etc. She made a few guest appearances at the Monte Carlo Opera and La Monnaie in Brussels. She was also much admired in French Baroque music notably in Rameau’s Les Indes galantes, and was much loved as a concert singer, especially of Corsican songs.