Mado Robin

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Madeleine Marie Robin (French pronunciation: ​; 29 December 1918 – 10 December 1960), generally known as Mado Robin, was a French coloratura soprano. She was noted for her extreme range. Robin was born in Yzeures-sur-Creuse, Touraine, where she owned the Château des Vallées. A star of television and radio in the 1950s, she was well known in France. Among her roles were Lakmé, which she recorded for Decca Records in 1952 (with Georges Sébastian conducting), Lucia di Lammermoor, Olympia in The Tales of Hoffmann, Gilda in Rigoletto, Rosina in The Barber of Seville, and Leïla in Les pêcheurs de perles. In 1954, she went to San Francisco to sing Lucia and Gilda, and had a successful tour of the Soviet Union with sixteen concerts over a few weeks. At age 17, she married Alan Smith, an Englishman, who died shortly after World War II in a car crash. She had one daughter. Robin died in Paris in 1960 from cancer (some sources state liver cancer, others leukaemia) a few days before the 1500th performance of Lakmé at the Opéra-Comique, which had organized the event for her birthday. A museum to her life opened in her home town in 2009. In 1994, the Bel Canto Society released a video-cassette of her performances, entitled Mado Robin Live!; included are excerpts from Lakmé, Mireille, Rigoletto, Hamlet, Il barbiere di Siviglia and Lucia di Lammermoor.