MAUPIN, Mlle (ca 1670-1707)

MAUPIN, Mademoiselle (c.1670–1707)

Mademoiselle d’AUBIGNY, known as La MAUPIN (c.1670–1707), had sung in Marseille and Rouen before making her successful début at the Académie Royale de Musique in 1690 as Pallas in a revival of Lully’s Cadmus et Hermione (1673), but her career flourished only from 1698 (when Marthe le Rochois retired). Her splendid contralto (bas-dessus) voice, excellent memory and natural talent made up for a lack of musical training. Campra wrote for her the role of Clorinde in Tancrède (1702). She also sang Lully’s Armide a tone below its original pitch. She was a fine actress, receiving considerable acclaim as Medée in Bouvard’s Médus, roi de Mèdes, a difficult role, made even more so by the use of pantomime ‘without wand, kerchief or fan’ (Parfaict brothers). She often sang at Versailles, notably in Omphale by Destouches in 1702. Petite and very pretty, attractive to both women and men, she often masqueraded as a man and fought duels, and one day she fought the singer Duméry, who had insulted her. She retired in 1705 and died a recluse.
Based on an article by Raphaëlle Legrand included in Dictionnaire de la musique en France aux XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles, Marcelle Benoit (dir.), Paris, Fayard, 1992.