Sarah Fischer

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Sarah Eugénie "Nini" Fischer (born February 23, 1896 in Paris , † May 3, 1975 in Montreal ) was a French-Canadian opera singer (soprano) and vocal teacher.


Fischer came to Montreal with her parents, who were of Polish-Jewish descent, at the age of twelve and received Canadian citizenship in 1912. She worked for the Bell Telephone Company and also took solfège lessons from Jacques Goulet . From 1917 she studied singing with Celine Marier , a student of Romain Bussine . In 1918 she made her debut as a singer under the direction of Albert Roberval and alongside Cédia Brault , Victor Desautels and Ulysse Paquin at the Monument national in Montreal as Micaëla in Carmen .

In 1919 she went to London on a Strathcona scholarship, where she studied with Cecilia M. Hutchinson and was soon promoted by Emma Albani . For the benefit of Albani, who was living in financial need, she took part in a benefit concert organized by Nellie Melba at the Covent Garden Opera in 1925 , and in the same year she organized a benefit concert at the St-Denise Theater in Montreal.

As a member of the British National Opera Company , she sang Eva in Richard Wagner's opera Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg , Pamina in the Magic Flute and the Countess in The Marriage of Figaro by Mozart and Marguerite in Charles Gounod's Faust from 1922-23 . After studying with Vincenzo Lombardi in Rome, she sang Feodora in Umberto Giordano's Feodora at the Covent Garden Opera in 1925 . In the same year she made her debut at the Opéra-Comique in the title role of Pelléas et Mélisande . In 1936 she returned to Covent Garden Opera in the lead role of Albert Coates ' opera Pickwick .

In 1923 Fischer took part in the first broadcast of an opera from Coventgarden Opera (as Pamina in the Magic Flute), in 1934 for the BBC as Carmen alongside Heddle Nash as Don José in the first television recordings of an opera production.

After the outbreak of World War II, Fischer returned to Montreal in 1940 and opened a vocal studio there. Among others studied there Roger Doucet , Yolande Dulude and Jean-Pierre Hurteau with her. In 1941 she opened the Sarah Fischer Concerts for the benefit of Canadian musicians . In the 145 concerts that took place up to January 1975, u. a. Pierrette Alarie , Violet Archer , Réjane Cardinal , Clarice Carson , Fernande Chiocchio , Yolande Dulude, Marie-José Forgues , Maureen Forrester , Hélène Gagné , Claire Gagnier , Denis Harbor , Mary Henderson , Jacques Labrecque , Mariana Paunova , André Prévost , Jacqueline Richard , Claude Savard , Robert Silverman and Micheline Tessier . She had her last own appearance at these concerts in 1942 with excerpts as Pelléas et Mélisande alongside José Delaquerrière and Roger Filiatrault , after which she devoted herself entirely to teaching. In 1946 she founded the Sarah Fischer Concerts scholarships in memory of Dame Emma Albani .

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