Arnould [Arnoult], (Magdeleine) [Madeleine] Sophie
- Julian Rushton
(b Paris, 13 Feb 1740; d Paris, 22 Oct 1802). French soprano. A precocious child, she studied Latin and Italian and received a solid general education. Her performance in sacred music impressed the royal family and Mme de Pompadour, and she was appointed to the Opéra, studying declamation with Clairon and singing with marie Fel. Her voice was sweet and expressive, not powerful, supported by fine diction and acting. She was the leading Opéra soprano from 1757 (début in Mouret’s Les amours des dieux) to 1778. She sang over 30 roles, by Lully, Rameau, Rousseau (Le devin du village) and others; several she created, but her greatest was Telaira in Rameau’s Castor et Pollux. She adapted to Italian-influenced music such as Monsigny’s Aline, and the climax of her career was in Iphigénie en Aulide (1774, at Fontainebleau as late as 1777. Less successful as Eurydice, she was mortified by Gluck’s choice of Rosalie Levasseur for ...