Skip to main content

Sembrich, Marcella (real name, Prakseda Marcelina Kochanska)

Sembrich, Marcella (real name, Prakseda Marcelina Kochanska)

Sembrich, Marcella (real name, Prakseda Marcelina Kochanska), famous Polish-American soprano; b. Wisniewczyk, Galicia, Feb. 15, 1858; d. N.Y, Jan. 11, 1935. Sembrich was her mother’s maiden name. Her father, Kasimir Kochanski, was a village musician. She began studying piano with him when she was 4 and soon thereafter violin as well; at 10 she played both instruments in public, and at 11 she entered the Lemberg Cons., where her principal teacher was Wilhelm Stengel (b. Lemberg, Aug. 7, 1846; d. N.Y, May 15, 1917), whom she later married (May 5, 1877). In 1874 she played and sang for Liszt, who urged her to train her voice. She then studied singing with Viktor Roki-tansky in Vienna, and with G.B. Lamperti, the younger, in Milan. She made her operatic debut in Athens on June 3, 1877, as Elvira in Bellini’s I Puritani under the stage name of Sembrich. Following training in the German repertory from Richard Lewy in Vienna, she sang Lucia di Lammermoor at the Dresden Court Opera in 1878, remaining on its roster until 1880. On June 12, 1880, she chose that role for her first appearance at London’s Covent Garden, where she sang for 5 seasons. It was also as Lucia di Lammermoor that she made her U.S. debut at the Metropolitan Opera in N.Y. on Oct. 24, 1883. Thereafter she sang at the principal opera houses of Germany, Austria, France, Spain, Scandinavia, and Russia until 1898, then was a regular member of the Metropolitan Opera from 1898 to 1900, and again from 1901 to 1909. Her farewell appearance in opera was at the Metropolitan on Feb. 6, 1909. In subsequent years she devoted herself to lieder recitals, remaining active until her retirement in 1917. She was also active as a teacher, serving as head of the vocal depts. at both the Curtis Inst. of Music in Philadelphia and at the Inst. of Musical Art in N.Y. Her operatic repertoire included some 40 roles, the most outstanding being Susanna, Zerlina, the Queen of the Night, Rosina, Gilda, Violetta, Eva in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Elsa in Lohengrin, and Mimi, as well as her incomparable Lucia.

Bibliography

G. Armin, M. S. und Herr Prof. Julius Hey (Leipzig, 1898); H. Owen, A Recollection of M. S. (N.Y., 1950).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Sembrich, Marcella (real name, Prakseda Marcelina Kochanska)." Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Nov. 2018 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Sembrich, Marcella (real name, Prakseda Marcelina Kochanska)." Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com. (November 19, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/sembrich-marcella-real-name-prakseda-marcelina-kochanska

"Sembrich, Marcella (real name, Prakseda Marcelina Kochanska)." Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians. . Retrieved November 19, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/sembrich-marcella-real-name-prakseda-marcelina-kochanska

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.