Marie Toulinguet | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Marie Toulinguet

Marie (b Georgina) Toulinguet (b Stirling). Soprano, b Twillingate, Nfld, 3 Apr 1867, d there 21 Apr 1935.

Toulinguet, Marie

Marie (b Georgina) Toulinguet (b Stirling). Soprano, b Twillingate, Nfld, 3 Apr 1867, d there 21 Apr 1935. She studied with Mathilde Marchesi in Paris, made her debut there in 1893, and for about 10 years enjoyed a successful concert and opera career in France, England, Germany, the USA, and particularly in Italy where she sang at La Scala before the Italian royal family. She returned to Newfoundland in 1893 to perform in recital at the Methodist College Hall, St John's. On that occasion she sang arias by Handel, Meyerbeer, and Verdi and the songs 'Harbour Bay' (F.L. Moir), 'The Holy City' (S. Adams), and 'Venetian Boating Song' (Tosti). In 1896 Toulinguet sang again in St John's, this time in the Roman Catholic Cathedral. The following year, at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, she sang arias from Giordano's Andrea Chenier and Handel's Serse. Also in 1897, she toured as leading soprano with Mapleson's New Imperial Opera singing in Weber's Der Freischütz and other works. While with that company she performed in Montreal. In the same year she performed with the Boston Harmony Orchestral Society. She joined the Scalchi Opera Company as prima donna soprano for the 1897-8 tour of the USA. In 1898 she returned to Italy, and after singing the premiere of a mass by one Maestro Tacheo at Chioggia she received a thunderous ovation, after which she was presented with a testimonial document. Vocal problems cut short her career and her last professional appearance was at St. John's in 1904.

After many years abroad Toulinguet returned to Twillingate, where, 29 years after her death, a citizens' committee raised a monument over her previously unmarked grave. Her professional name was derived from the old Breton name for Twillingate; in Newfoundland she was known also as Twillingate Stirling. Her only recording (Milan ca 1904), surviving in a private collection, reveals a high soprano of great brilliance and agility.

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