A Dictionary of Music and Musicians/Demeur, Anne

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DEMEUR, Anne Arsène, née Charton, was born March 5, 1827, at Saujon (Charente), was taught music by Bizot of Bordeaux, and in 1842 made her début there as Lucia. She sang next at Toulouse, and in 1846 at Brussels. On July 18 in the same year she made a successful début at Drury Lane as Madeleine in 'Le Postilion,' and also played both Isabelle and Alice ('Robert '), Eudoxie, on production of 'La Juive' in England, July 19, and with great success as Angèle ('Domino Noir') with Couderc, the original Horace. On Sept. 4, 1847, she married M. Demeur the flautist.[1] In 1849–50 she was first female singer of Mitchell's French Company at St. James's Theatre, and became highly popular in various light parts, many of which were then new to England, viz. Angèle, Henriette ('L'Ambassadrice'), Isabelle ('Pré aux Clercs'), Zanetta, Feb. 12, 1849; Laurette ('Cœur de Lion'), and Adèle (Auber's 'Concert à la Cour'), both on Feb. 26, 1849; Lucrezia ('Actéon') March 4, 1849; the Queen of Léon (Boisselot's 'Ne touchez pas à la Reine'), May 21, 1849; Countess ('Comte Ory'), June 20, 1849; Anna ('Dame Blanche'), Camille ('Zampa'), Jan. 4, 1850; Rose de Mai ('Val d'Andorre'), Jan. 17; Virginie ('Le Caid'), Feb. 11; Catarina ('Les Diamans'), etc. She sang at the Philharmonic Concert of March 18, 1850; in 1852 she appeared in Italian at Her Majesty's on July 27, as Amina; and on Aug. 5, in the Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha's 'Casilda.' 'She made an impression when singing in French comic opera by her pleasing voice and appearance and by a certain cosiness of manner which was very charming.' (Chorley.) Mme. Charton-Demeur having sung with little success in 1849 and 1853 at the Opéra Comique, adopted the Italian stage, and won both fame and fortune in St. Petersburg, Vienna, in North and South America, and in Paris at the Italiens as Desdemona in 1862. On Aug. 9 of that year she played the heroine on the production of Berlioz's 'Béatrice et Bénédict' so much to the composer's satisfaction that he requested her to play Dido in 'Les Troyens à Carthage,' produced at the Lyrique Nov. 4, 1863. Berlioz has commemorated in his Memoirs her great beauty, her passionate acting and singing as Dido, although she had not sufficient voice wholly to realise his ideal heroine, and last, not least, her generosity in accepting the engagement at a pecuniary loss to herself, a more lucrative offer having been made her for Madrid. On the conclusion of the run of the opera she sang at Madrid, but afterwards returned to the Lyrique, where, on May 1, 1866, she played Donna Anna with Nilsson (Elvira) and Carvalho (Zerlina). For many years past Mme. Charton has been living in retirement, but has occasionally appeared at concerts, viz. at the Berlioz Festival at the Paris Opera, with Nilsson in the Duo Finale to the 1st act of 'Béatrice et Bénédict,' March 22, 1870; at the Pasdeloup concerts with Monjauze in the finale to the 2nd act of Reyer's 'Sigurd,' performed for the first time, March 30, 1873; and made her last appearances at the same concert as Cassandra in the first production of Berlioz's 'Prise de Troie,' Nov. 23 and 30, and Dec. 7, 1879.

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  1. Demeur, Jules Antoine, born Sept. 23. 1814. at Hodimont-lez Verviers—studied the flute at the Brussels Conservatoire from Lahore—subsequently learnt the Boehm flute from Dorus at Paris; from '42 to '47 was first flautist at the Brussels Opera, and as such played at Drury Lane in '46; relinquished that post to accompany his wile ou all her engagements.