“I Had A Voice”

Anne Marie 2

Anne Marie d’Orléans, Queen of Sardinia (27 August 1669 – 26 August 1728) was the second daughter of Philippe, Duke of Orleans, younger son of King Louis XIII and Anne of Austria, and Henrietta Anne Stuart of England, daughter of King Charles I. She was, therefore, the niece of Kings Louis XIV and Charles II.

She married the eighteen-year-old Victor Amadeus II Duke of Savoy on April 8, 1684. Anne had eight children, of whom two sons and two druthers survived.

The birth of their eldest child Adelaide nearly killed Anne, who was barely sixteen at the time. Adelaide married the Duke of Bourgogne, grandson of King Louis XIV. Their next child, Maria Luisa married King Philip V of Spain.

Anne was also involved in governing the kingdom. While her husband was away, for example, fighting the French in 1690, Anne Marie was allowed a limited role, issuing and signing patents.

Anne Marie almost became a Queen in her own right. Her mother, Herneiatte Anne Stuart, was the daughter of King Charles I. Henrietta Anne’s niece, Queen Anne had a series of stillbirths, and her only surviving son died at a young age. This sparked a succession crisis, as King William III and his wife Mary II had no children. The only surviving child was Anne Marie. But, the Act of Settlement, passed in 1701, stated that, were King William II and Queen Anne to die childless, the throne would pass to Sophia, Electress of Hanover and her Protestant descendants. It excluded Henrietta Anne’s descendants, and those of Sophia’s eldest siblings. As she was a French Catholic, married to an Italian prince, she and her descendants were barred from the throne.

In 1720, Victor Amadeus became King of Sardinia. His descendants would become Kings of Italy. Neither he nor his wife lived very long after Victor Amadeus became King. He died in 1730, succeed by their son Charles Emmanuel III. His grandson would be named after him and become King Victor Amadeus III.

Anne’s daughters predeceased her and her sons reigned but only one of her sons had children. When the Cardinal of York, Henry IX of England died, the next heir in line would again have been Anne Marie’s line, King Charles Emmanuel IV of Sardinia, great-grandson of King Victor Amadeus and Queen Anne Marie.

Ann Murray, DBE (Born 27 August 1949) – not to be confused with Canadian pop and country singer Morna Ann Murray, known as Ann Murray – is an Irish mezzo-soprano. She was born in Dublin. She began singing lessons at 4, at the Municipal School of Music in Chatham Row [renamed the ‘Dublin College of Music’ in 1962, and known today as the ‘DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama’]. At 7, she became a founding member of the ‘Young Dublin Singers’ and took part in school choir and productions. She attended University College Dublin in 1967 and studied Music and Arts. She was studying with Nancy Calthorpe and, after winning several prizes went to England to study with Frederick Cox at the Royal Manchester College of Music.

Her stage debut was as the title role of C.W Gluck’s Alceste with the Scottish Opera at Aldeburgh. She has performed in the title roles of Handel’s Xerxes and Ariodante and Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda, with the English National Opera, and with the Royal Opera House. She has also sung with the Orchestre de Paris, The Philadelphia Orchestra, the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, and many others.

Murray was made an Honorary Doctor of Music by the National University of Ireland in 1997. During the Golden Jubilee Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2002, she was appointed an honorary Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.

She performed at the Wexford Festival in Ireland in the 1970s, but has not – as of 2015 – had an opportunity to perform any major title roles in opera in Ireland. She did work as a coach and educator at the Royal Irish Academy of Music. She is a founding member of the Songmakers’ Almanac, which “explore[s] neglected areas of piano-accompanied vocal music and provide[s] an alternative to conventional recitals.”

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