Obituary: French Mezzo-Soprano Michèle Vilma Passes Away At 87

By Nicole Kuchta

French mezzo-soprano Michèle Vilma passed away on May 28, 2019 at the age of 87.

Vilma was born in Rouen, France on Feb. 23, 1932. The mezzo-soprano studied voice under Lucienne Vifquain at the Conservatoire de Rouen, according to the Greek National Opera’s Virtual Museum, before going on to make her Opera de Rouen debut as Dalila in “Samson et Dalila.” She appeared later in the same role at Opera de Nice alongside Mario del Monaco.

Vilma “sung all the great mezzo roles across France” and abroad including Azucena in “Il Trovatore,” Brangane in “Tristan und Isolde” at the Metropolitan Opera, the title role of “Carmen,” Charlotte in “Werther,” Dulcinea in “Don Quixote,” Fricka in “Der Ring des Nibelungen,” Laura in “La Gioconda,” Marie in “Dialogues des Carmélites,” Princess Eboli in “Don Carlo” (her Paris Opera/Palais Garnier debut), and Waltraute in “Die Walkure” at the Bayreuth Festival in 1972.

Her recordings include “Roméo et Juliette” alongside Mirella Freni and Franco Corelli, “Maria Stuarda” alongside Montserrat Caballe and José Carreras, and “Don Carlo.”

Here she is performing from “Don Carlos.”