Obituary: French Soprano Suzanne Sarroca Dies at 96

By Francisco Salazar

French soprano Suzanne Sarroca has died at the age of 96.

Born on April 21, 1927, the soprano studied singing at the Conservatoire de Toulouse and began her career as a mezzo-soprano in the role of Charlotte in Massenet’s “Werther” in Carcassonne. That role would be followed by Bizet’s “Carmen” in 1951 in La Monnaie of Brussels.

Sarroca eventually moved into the dramatic repertoire and in 1952 made her debut at the Paris Opera where she sang at both the Opéra Garnier and the Opéra-Comique.

Her repertoire would include the roles of Rezia in Weber’s “Oberon,” Senta in Wagner’s “The Flying Dutchman,” Santuzza in Mascagni’s “Cavalleria Rusticana,” Verdi’s “Aida,” Musetta in Puccini’s “La Bohème,” and Elisabeth in “Verdi’s Don Carlos.”

She also sang the world premiere of Henry Barraud’s “Numance,” and the work that is Charpentier’s “Louise.”

She was also a major interpreter of “Tosca” which she sang all over the world in Buenos Aires, Brussels, Geneva, Rome, Rio, Naples, Nice, and London.

Outside of Paris, she was sought after in other major French theaters in Toulouse, Strasbourg, and Marseille.

Sarroca returned to teh mezzo repertoire in the 80s and became the director of the Atelier Lyrique of the Opéra national du Rhin from 1983 to 1985. She was also a teacher at the 9th arrondissement of Paris Conservatory until 1992.

Here is an excerpt from her acclaimed Elizabeth in “Don Carlos.”