famous Italian soprano; b. Sinigaglia, May 10, 1780; d. Paris, June 12, 1849. She was educated in the convent of S. Lucia di Gubbio in Rome, and received vocal training from her father and from Morandi. After making her operatic debut as Mayr’s Lodoiska at the Teatro La Fenice in Venice in 1795, she sang at La Pergola in Florence (1799), La Scala in Milan (1801), and in Lisbon (from 1801). In 1806 she made her London debut at the King’s Theatre in Portugal’s Semi-ramide, and soon became one of the most highly acclaimed and paid prima donnas of the era. She became well known for her roles in operas by Paër, Paisiello, and Piccinni. In 1812 she sang Susanna in the first London staging of Le nozze di Figaro. After serving as manager of the Théâtre-Italien in Paris (1814–17), she toured extensively in Europe. In 1821 she retired from the operatic stage but continued to appear in concerts until 1828. Catalani captivated her audiences by the sheer beauty and range of her coloratura.
H. Satter, H. C. (Frankfurt am Main, 1958); M. Zurletti, C. (Turin, 1982).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire