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Jules Massenet (1842-1912) is the author of twenty-five operas, oratorios, over two hundred eighty songs, and numerous instrumental works. When his descendant Anne Massenet was entrusted with the family archives, she discovered more than a thousand letters exchanged with his family, students, colleagues, friends, and even a few competitors! Anne Massenet's new biography, published in France in 2001, is now translated into English by Mary Dibbern. It reveals unknown aspects of Massenet's personality as documented by letters to his son-in-law Leon Alloend-Bessand who, even after his divorce from Juliette, the composer's only child, was his father-in-law's confident. Equally revealing are hundreds of other previously unpublished letters, mostly to his spouse Louise-Constance, nicknamed Ninon, whose long and frequent spa cures forced him to experience unbearable solitude. This is an intimate portrait of Massenet, seen through a unique collection of primary source documents.
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About the Author

Mary Dibbern joined The Dallas Opera as Music Director for Education and Family Programming in June 2012. She is an adjunct faculty member of the University of North Texas, USA, where she teaches French Diction for singers. She is an internationally known specialist in the field of vocal coaching and recital accompaniment, with appearances in Europe, the United States and Asia. Dibbern was graduated summa cum laude from SMU with a Master of Music in accompaniment under the direction of Maestro Paul Vellucci. She resided in France from 1978 to 2009, where she studied with Nadia Boulanger and Pierre Bernac and was guest coach for the Opera National de Paris, and all of the major French opera companies. She also worked in Switzerland, Portugal, Lithuania, Latvia, and in Shanghai where she was in charge of musical and language preparation for the first French-language productions. In the US, she was guest coach at Seattle Opera, Fort Worth Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Kentucky Opera, Opera Memphis and Hawai'i Opera Theatre, USA. She was Head of Music at Minnesota Opera for three seasons, where she collaborated closely with composer Kevin Puts and librettist Mark Campbell on their world premiere ""Silent Night"" which subsequently won the Pulitzer Price for Music 2012. Mary Dibbern is the author of seven books on French music published by Pendragon Press and is the Editorial Consultant for Musik Fabrik's publications of works by French composer Jacques Leguerney She is a recording artist for Harmonia Mundi France, Claves and Maguelone.

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