French opera singer Jane Rhodes dies

7th May 2011, Comments 0 comments

French-born opera singer Jane Rhodes, famous for her role as the singing gypsy Carmen, died Saturday, her husband told AFP. She was 82 years old.

Rhodes died in a Paris hospital where she was being treated for a neurological illness.

Born in 1929 in Paris, Rhodes made her opera debut at 25, with a singing voice ranging from the powerful dramatic soprano to the higher mezzo-soprano.

"Her most famous role was undoubtedly Carmen at the Garnier opera house in Paris where I myself was a conductor, in November 1959, and in the presence of (former World War II leader and French president) General (Charles) de Gaulle," said her husband, the conductor Roberto Benzi.

With her good looks, Rhodes gained fame for her role as Carmen, the irresistible and fiery character in George Bizet's opera, as well as Marguerite in Hector Berlioz's "The Damnation of Faust".

She also sang Giacomo Puccini's Tosca and Richard Strauss's Salome.

© 2011 AFP

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