Faà di Bruno, Giovanni Matteo [Horatio, Orazio] 83


Feis Atha Cliath, Feis Ceoil, Feis Maitiú



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Feis Atha Cliath, Feis Ceoil, Feis Maitiú.


Music festivals held in Dublin; see Dublin, §8.

Fel, Antoine


(b Bordeaux, 1694; d Bicêtre, 27 June 1771). French singer and composer. He was the son of Henry Fel, an organist, and was well known for his skill in teaching singing. He sang at the Concert Spirituel and at the Paris Opéra as a basse-taille or taille until about 1753, when he retired with a modest pension. He wrote about a dozen cantatilles with instrumental accompaniment and two collections of Airs et duos tendres et bacchiques (Paris, c1748); his sister Marie Fel and his daughter Marie Antoinette Françoise Fel (b 1750–60) were also singers.

BIBLIOGRAPHY


G. Bourligueux: ‘Antoine Fel, organiste de la cathédrale de Rennes’, Mémoires de la Société d’histoire et d’archéologie de Bretagne, l (1970), 55–74

M. Benoit: Dictionnaire de la musique en France aux XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles (Paris, 1992)

MARY CYR

Fel, Marie


(b Bordeaux, 24 Oct 1713; d Chaillot, 2 Feb 1794). French singer. One of the most famous singers of the Académie Royale de Musique, Marie Fel had a long and brilliant career on the operatic stage. She learnt the Italian style of singing from Mme Van Loo, a celebrated Italian singer (daughter of the violinist Somis) who married the painter Carle Vanloo and came to Paris in 1733. She made her début on 29 October 1734 as Venus in the prologue of Philomèle by La Coste and at the Concert Spirituel des Tuileries on 1 November in a motet by Mondonville. Her appeal increased rapidly. She performed regularly at the Concerts chez la Reine, small court gatherings where operas being given in Paris were previewed or repeated. As she continued to sing major roles, she also frequently performed cantatilles, airs in French or Italian inserted between the acts of an opera. From 1739 she began to assume leading roles and, with the famous haute-contre Pierre de Jélyotte, gave performances which charmed every opera audience. Her flexibility and clear articulation particularly suited the technically demanding ariettes. F.M. Grimm, in a letter to Raynal (Mercure de France, May 1752, p.187), praised her mastery of the Italian style:

Quand je parle de la façon dont Mlle Fel chante l’italien, je n’ai pas voulu dire qu’elle avait fait je ne sais quelles découvertes, j’ai voulu dire simplement que les étrangers et entre autres mon compatriote M. Hasse, outre une articulation très heureuse et une expression très agréable, lui trouve je ne sais quoi d’original dans son chant, qui sans être précisément le goût de nos voix italiennes, convient très bien au génie de cette musique; et si l’auteur des Remarques demande en quoi consiste cette manière originale, je lui dirai que Mlle Fel la doit à son organe, le plus singulier et le plus égal que je connaisse. C’est avec une voix partout également franche et légère qu’elle parcourt deux gammes et demie; mais la nature qui lui a accordé cette faveur n’en est pas prodigue, et les voix ordinaires sont obligées d’y suppléer par l’art.

In 1757 she appeared with her pupil Sophie Arnould, who replaced her at the Opéra the following year. She continued to sing at the Tuileries, and was applauded for her interpretation of Latin and French motets, especially those of Mondonville. In 1752 she performed the Salve regina which J.-J. Rousseau had written for her (Confessions (Geneva, 1782), ix: 1756).

Her sensitivity and intelligence brought her many admirers, among them Grimm and the librettist Cahusac. The painter Quentin La Tour called her his ‘Céleste’; his pastel of her, displayed at the Salon du Louvre in 1757, has become famous (reproduced by Prod’homme, 1923). During her long career she performed in over a hundred premières and revivals, including major roles in most of Rameau’s works:



Castor et Pollux (Amour in 1737, Télaïre in 1754), Fêtes d’Hébé (Hébé, 1739, 1747, 1756), Dardanus (1739, 1744), Hippolyte et Aricie (1742 revival), Les Indes galantes (1743), Fêtes de Polymnie (1745), Le temple de la gloire (1745), Zaïs (Zélidie, 1748), Naïs (1749), Platée (1749), Zoroastre (Amélite, 1749 and 1756), La guirlande (Zélide, 1751), Acante et Céphise (Céphise, 1751), La naissance d’Osiris (Pamilie, 1754)

Some of her other roles were in works by Lully, Campra and Mouret (they are listed by Pitou), as well as Chloé in Boismortier’s Daphnis et Chloé (1747), Aurore in Mondonville's Titon et l’Aurore (1753), Colette in Rousseau’s Le devin du village (1753) and Alcimadure in Daphnis et Alcimadure, Mondonville’s pastorale in Languedoc dialect.


BIBLIOGRAPHY


J.-G. Prod’homme: ‘Pierre de Jélyotte (1713–1797)’, SIMG, iii (1901–2), 686–717

J.-G. Prod’homme: ‘Marie Fel (1713–1794)’, SIMG, iv (1902–3), 485–518

J.-G. Prod’homme: ‘A Pastel by La Tour: Marie Fel’, MQ, ix (1923), 482–507

M. Teneo: ‘Marie Fel’, J.-P. Rameau: Naïs, Oeuvres complètes, ed. C. Saint-Saëns and others, xviii (Paris, 1924/R), p.lxxix

M. Cyr: ‘Eighteenth-Century French and Italian Singing: Rameau's Writing for the Voice’, ML, lxi (1980), 318–37

S. Pitou: The Paris Opéra: an Encyclopedia of Opera, Ballets, Composers and Performers (London, 1983)

G. Sadler: ‘Rameau's Singers and Players at the Paris Opéra: a Little-known Inventory of 1738’, EMc, xi (1983), 453–67

M. Benoit, ed.: Dictionnaire de la musique en France aux XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles (Paris, 1992)

M. Cyr: ‘The Paris Opéra Chorus during the Time of Rameau’, ML, lxxvi (1995), 32–51

MARY CYR



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