Bathori, Jane [Berthier, Jeanne-Marie]
- David Cox
(b Paris, June 14, 1877; d Paris, Jan 25, 1970). French mezzo-soprano and producer. She studied at the Paris Conservatoire with Hortense Parent (piano) and the Belgian tenor Emile Engel, whom she married in 1908, and made her début at Nantes in 1900. Toscanini engaged her for the first La Scala performance of Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel (1902), and in Brussels she appeared in opera with her husband. Soon, however, she decided to devote herself to concert work. Her sympathetic and authentic interpretations of works by many French composers of her time – Debussy, Ravel, Chabrier, Satie, Roussel, Milhaud and others – was very important. With Ravel’s Shéhérazade she achieved wide acclaim. She gave the première of his Histoires naturelles (dedicated to her) and of his Chansons madécasses, both occasions creating a sensation.
During World War I Bathori managed the Théâtre du Vieux Colombier, producing such works as Chabrier’s ...