Todi, Luisa (actually, Luiza Rosa née d’Aguiar)

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Todi, Luisa (actually, Luiza Rosa née d’Aguiar)

Todi, Luisa (actually, Luiza Rosa née d’Aguiar), famous Portuguese mezzo-soprano; b. Setubal, Jan. 9, 1753; d. Lisbon, Oct. 1, 1833. She made her debut as a comic actress at age 14 in Lisbon, and married the violinist Francesco Saverio Todi, concertmaster of the theater orch., when she was 16. She studied with David Perez, making her opera debut in 1770 in Scolaris II Viaggiatore ridicolo in Lisbon; during the 1777-78 season, she sang comic opera at the King’s Theatre in London, then established herself as a serious artist with her debut at the Paris Concert Spirituel (Nov. 1, 1778). After appearances in Germany, Austria, and Italy, she returned to Paris in 1783 and became a rival of Gertrud Elisabeth Mara at the Concert Spirituel; 2 hostile factions squared off, the Todistes and the Maratistes. After singing at Berlin’s Royal Opera, she went to St. Petersburg in 1784, winning great acclaim for her appearances in Sarti’s Armida e Rinaldo (Jan. 1786) and Castor e e Politice (Sept. 22, 1786). After singing in Moscow in Pollinia (April 23, 1787), she returned to Berlin (1788-89); also sang in Mainz, Hannover, and Venice (1790-91). After further engagements in Italy and in Prague (1791), she appeared at the Madrid Opera (1792-93; 1794-95); then sang at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples (1797-99). In 1803 she retired to Lisbon, where she spent her final years in total blindness.


J. Ribeiro Guimaräes, Biographia de Luiza de Aguiar T.(Lisbon, 1872); J. de Vasconcellos, Luiza T: Lstudo critico (Oporto, 1873; 2nd ed., 1929); M. de Sampayo Ribeiro, Luisa de Aguiar T.(Lisbon, 1934).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire