Crespin, Régine , outstanding French soprano, later mezzo-soprano; b. Marseilles, Feb. 23, 1927. She studied pharmacology, and then began taking voice lessons with Suzanne Cesbron-Viseur and Georges Jouatte in Paris. She made her debut in Mulhouse as Elsa in 1950 and then sang at the Paris Opéra from 1951, where she quickly rose to prominence. She acquired a reputation as one of the best Wagnerian singers of her era. Crespin sang Kundry at the Bayreuth Festivals (1958–60). She appeared also at La Scala in Milan, at Covent Garden in London, and on Nov. 19, 1962, made her debut with the Metropolitan Opera in N.Y. in the role of the Marschallin; she remained with the Metropolitan until her farewell appearance as Mme. De Croissy in Les Dialogues des Carmélites on April 16, 1987. From 1977 until her retirement in 1991 she sang mezzo-soprano roles. Her memoires were publ. as La vie et I’amour d’une femme (Paris, 1980; 2nd ed., rev. and aug., 1997, as A la scene, a la ville; rev. Eng. tr., 1997, as On Stage, Off Stage: A Memoir). She sang the parts of Elsa in Lohengrin, Sieglinde in Die Walkilre, and Amelia in Un ballo in maschera’, also appeared as a concert singer. Her sonorous, somewhat somber voice suited dramatic parts excellently.
B. Dump, R. C: La voix de velours (Paris, 1998).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire