Obituary: French Soprano Renée Doria Dies at 100

By Francisco Salazar

Renée Doria has died at the age of 100.

The soprano was born Renée Dumazert in Perpignan, France on March 6, 1921, and went on to study piano, solfege, and harmony. She later studied voice with Umberto Valdarmini, and made her singing debut in concert at the age of 18.

She officially made her operatic debut in 1942, at the Opéra de Marseille, as Rosina in “Il Barbiere di Siviglia.”

A year later she made her Paris debut at the Gaîté-Lyrique in 1943, as Lakmé, and in 1944, she sang at the Opéra-Comique, in the same role. Other roles included Constance in “Die Entführung aus dem Serail” in Cannes under Reynaldo Hahn, and the three heroines in “Les contes d’Hoffmann” in Strasbourg.

In 1947, she made her Paris Opera debut as the Queen of the Night in “The Magic Flute” and became a fixture with the company. She would perform Leila in “Les pêcheurs de perles,” the title role in “Mireille,” Marguerite in “Faust,” Juliette in “Roméo et Juliette,” Ophélie in “Hamlet,” “Manon,” “Thaïs,” as well as Fiordiligi in “Così fan tutte,” Gilda in “Rigoletto,” and Violetta in “La Traviata” with the Paris Opera.

Doria also became well known for her baroque interpretations and contemporary works and went on to sing an estimated sixty roles.

Throughout her career, Doria made a number of recordings including “Les Contes d’Hoffmann” (1948), “Thais” (1961), “Mireille” (1962), and Massenet’s “Sapho” (1978), among others.