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Richings (originally, Reynoldson), (Mary) Caroline

Richings (originally, Reynoldson), (Mary) Caroline

Richings (originally, Reynoldson), (Mary) Caroline , English-born American pianist, soprano, impresario, and teacher; b. 1827; d. Richmond, Va., Jan. 14, 1882. She was taken to the U.S. as a child and adopted by the actor Peter Richings. After appearing as a pianist in Philadelphia, she received vocal instruction and made her operatic debut there as Marie in La Fille du régiment (Feb. 9, 1852). Her father organized the Richings Grand Opera Co. (1859), and she appeared with it both as a pianist and as a singer; when her father retired (1867), she assumed the position of director. After she married a tenor in the company, Peter Bernard, it was renamed the Richings-Bernard Co.; in 1870 they formed a partnership with Euphrosyne Parepa-Rosa and gave performances as the short-lived Caroline Richings-Bernard Grand Opera Combination. She served as director of her own concert organization, the Old Folks Opera Co. (1874–75), and subsequently settled in Baltimore, singing in light opera and concert; was also active as a voice teacher. She made her farewell stage appearance in her own operetta, The Duchess (Baltimore, Aug. 1881).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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