MARCELLE BUNLET, Soprano, * 09 October 1900 Fontenay-le-Comte (Vendée), † 13 December 1991 Paris; (by Christophe Delhoume): Born in Fontenay-Le-Comte on October 10, 1900, Marcelle Bunlet made her debut first on the concert stage at the age of 26. Philippe Gaubert immediately contract her for his series of Concerts at the Conservatoire, where she appeared for the very first time on November 28, 1926, singing the Leonore aria from Fidelio as well as a excerpt from REDEMPTION by Cesar Franck. Gaubert took Bunlet as his protégée, introducing her later to Jacques Rouché at the Paris Opera. In the meantime, he gave her in concert, such big assignments as Ariane in ARIANE ET BARBE-BLEUE, or Brünhilde's immolation scene, which she sang under his baton in November 1927. The voice was already huge and powerful, which always made an amusing contrast with Bunlet's figure, being a rather small and discreet person. In the meantime, she was introduced in the most important musical circles in Paris , where she met Honegger, Milhaud, Jane Bathori, Gustave Samazeuilh... During the 1927/1928 season, she performed Milhaud's AGAMEMNON, as well as vocal music by Florent Schmitt with Lina Falk and Hugues Cuénod. By then, she was already known, and with Gaubert's recommendation, ready to make her debut on the Opéra stage. Her debut at the Opera-Comique took place on January 5, 1928 as Ariane in Dukas' ARIANE ET BARBE-BLEUE, an opera she had already performed with Gaubert in concert, and which will remain very much associated with her. Bunlet will even record later the two Ariane arias "Voici la clef" and "l'air des Diamants", a really risky choice at that time for a commercial recording. If the performance went well, Bunlet has not been a frequent visitor of the Opéra-Comique during the rest of her career, the voice being rather too big for the place and for the kind of repertoire presented usually at the Comique. Six weeks later, she did a most spectacular debut at the Grand Opera, singing nothing else that Brünnhilde GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG. Gaubert was at the pit, and she sang with Franz, Journet, Kettie Lapeyrette and Jeanne Campredon She gave five more GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG performances until April 14, 1928, singing in the meantime with Gaubert at the Concerts du Conservatoire on March 25 an exhausting programme including ARIANE ET BARBE-BLEUE's act 2 and TRISTAN act 1 with Franz and Madeleine Vitha, two fellow partners with whom she sang regularly during the next decade. Immediately after Paris , she made a sensational debut at La Monnaie in Brussels , where she performed Isolde for the very first time. She is, until then, a frequent guest of La Monnaie. Her friend, the French composer Gustave Samazeuil recommended her to the Wagners in Bayreuth , and she got contracted there for the 1931 Festival, as a Flower Maid in PARSIFAL under Toscanini. One night, Elisabeth Ohms being ill, and her cover Henny Trundt in the incapacity to sing, Marcelle Bunlet got the job and sang one single performance of Kundry. It went so well, that she was re-engaged not only for the revival of PARSIFAL in 1933, but also for the RING where she appeared as Woglinde and Helmwige, and once as Sieglinde. This single performance being the acknowledgement of the Festival for the last minute replacement of 1931. The Parsifal performance of 1933 where conducted by Richard Strauss. He and Bunlet met one year before in Strasbourg , this meeting had been made possible by Samazeuilh again, and by Raoul Gunsburg, who was at that time trying to get the rights of ARABELLA for Monte-Carlo. ELEKTRA was created in Strasburg on November 29, 1932 with Dietez-Monin as Chrysothémis and Madeleine Vitha as Klytämnestra. Strauss was present in Strasburg for the last rehearsals, and conducted one performance. Later, Strauss himself recommended Marcelle Bunlet, for the creation of SALOME in Bordeaux . The season in Strasburg was particularly rich for Bunlet and Vhita, who also created after ELEKTRA, Dukas's ARIANE ET BARBE-BLEUE under the baton of Paul Bastide.