Novello, Clara (Anastasia)

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Novello, Clara (Anastasia)

Novello, Clara (Anastasia), outstanding English soprano, daughter of Vincent Novello and sister of (Joseph) Alfred Novello; b. London, June 10, 1818; d. Rome, March 12, 1908. Having studied piano and singing in London, she entered the Paris Institution de Musique Religieuse in 1829, but returned home the following year because of the revolution. She won the approbation of Rossini, and became his friend for life. After a successful concert debut on Oct. 22, 1832, at Windsor, she was engaged for the Phil. Society, the Antient Concerts, and the principal festivals. In 1837 Mendelssohn engaged her for the Gewandhaus concerts in Leipzig. Following additional studies in Milan (1839), she made her operatic debut as Rossini’s Semiramide in Bologna (1841); sang with great success in the principal Italian cities. On Nov. 22, 1843, she married Count Gigliucci, withdrawing to private life for several years; she reappeared in 1850, singing in concert and opera (chiefly in England and Italy). After her farewell appearance in London in 1860, she retired to Rome. Schumann greatly admired her, and coined the term Novelette for some of his pieces as an affectionate homage to her.


V. Gigliucci, C. N.’s Reminiscences, compiled by her daughter (London, 1910; with memoir by A. Coleridge); A. Mackenzie- Grieve, G N., 1818–1908 (London, 1955).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire