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Cavalieri, Catarina (real name, Franziska Cavalier)

Cavalieri, Catarina (real name, Franziska Cavalier)

Cavalieri, Catarina (real name, Franziska Cavalier), Austrian soprano of Italian descent; b. Wahring, near Vienna, Feb. 19, 1760; d. Vienna, June 30, 1801. She studied with Salieri, making her operatic debut as Sandrina in Anfossi’s La finta giardiniera at the Italian Opera in Vienna on April 29, 1775; subsequently sang with notable success at the German Opera there. Salieri, with whom she maintained a liaison, composed several operas for her. Mozart, too, composed the roles of Constanze in Die Entführung aus dem Ser ail (July 16, 1782) and Mme. Silberklang in Der Schauspieldirektor (Feb. 7, 1786) for her, as well as the extra aria “Mi tradi” (K. 540c) in Don Giovanni, for the first Vienna performance in 1788. In a letter of May 21, 1785, Mozart described her as “a singer of whom Germany might well be proud.” She retired from the stage in 1793.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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