Alboni, Marietta (actually, Maria Anna Marzia)

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Alboni, Marietta (actually, Maria Anna Marzia)

Alboni, Marietta (actually, Maria Anna Marzia), famous Italian contralto; b. Città de Castello, March 6, 1823; d. Ville d’Avray, France, June 23, 1894. She studied with Mombelli, Bertinotti, and Rossini. On Oct. 3, 1842, she made her operatic debut as Climene in Pacini’s Saffo in Bologna. On Dec. 30, 1842, she made her first appearance at Milan’s La Scala in Rossini’s Assedio de Corinto. In 1843 she sang to acclaim in Vienna, and in 1844-45 with great success in St. Petersburg. After highly successful engagements in other cities on the Continent, she went to London to open the first season of the Royal Italian Opera at Covent Garden as Arsace in Semiramide on April 6, 1847. In Oct. 1847 she gave 4 “concerts-spectacles” in Paris, returning there on Dec. 2 to make her debut as Arsace at the Théâtre-Italien. In 1848 she returned to London, where she became a rival to Jenny Lind. She continued to make appearances in London until 1858. From June 1852 to May 1853 she toured the U.S. in concert and opera. Due to obesity, she gradually withdrew from operatic appearances after 1863. In 1872 she sang for the last time in opera at the Théâtre-Italien. She subsequently gave occasional concerts seated in a large chair. Her exceptional vocal range extended from contralto G to high soprano C.


A Pougin, M. A. (Paris, 1912).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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Alboni, Marietta (actually, Maria Anna Marzia)

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