Lubin, Germaine (1890–1979)

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Lubin, Germaine (1890–1979)

French soprano who was well known for her Wagnerian roles. Born in Paris, France, on February 1, 1890; died in Paris on October 27, 1979; studied with F. Litvinne and Lilli Lehmann as well as at the Paris Conservatory, 1909–12; married Paul Géraldy (a famous French poet).

Debuted at the Opéra-Comique (1912); made debut at Paris Opéra (1914), appearing there until 1944; made debut at Covent Garden (1937); was the first French singer to appear at Bayreuth (1938).

Born in Paris in 1890, Germaine Lubin was one of France's greatest sopranos of the 20th century, along with Emma Calvé and Régine Crespin . Lubin transcended the French repertoire to perform many operatic works, including Wagner. Her beautiful, rounded tone and immediately recognizable timbre were her trademarks. Lauritz Melchoir sang Parsifal with Lubin in Paris in 1937 and was responsible for several of her appearances in Wagner's operas in Berlin. Numerous illustrious seasons followed at Bayreuth, and Lubin soon became the favorite of many high-ranking Nazis, including Adolf Hitler. Despite her abilities in Wagnerian roles, Lubin actually performed in many other operas, never restricting herself to Germanic repertoire. Lubin's voice has been most often compared with Dame Eva Turner 's. Both had voices which needed distance for the listener to hear to best effect. Perhaps recordings of Lubin's voice fail to do her justice in this respect. Lubin was reviled in her country for continuing to perform during the German occupation in World War II. For five years after the war, she was allowed neither to perform nor to leave the country.

John Haag , Athens, Georgia