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Lucca, Pauline (1841–1908)

Lucca, Pauline (1841–1908)

Austrian soprano. Born on April 25, 1841, in Vienna, Austria; died on February 28, 1908, in Vienna.

Known more for her two-octave range and her dramatic flair than for the quality of her singing, Austrian soprano Pauline Lucca trained in Vienna with Uffmann and Levy, and made her debut in Vienna in 1859, as the Second Boy in Die Zauberflöte. She appeared in Berlin, London, and Paris, and was in Russia between 1868 and 1869 and the United States between 1872 and 1874. Dubbed "the demon wild-cat," Lucca had a repertory that included the roles of Donna Anna, Zerlina, Valentine, Eva, Selika, Lenora (Trovatore) and Azucena, none of which were as celebrated as her Carmen. Off-stage, Lucca's purported relationship with Count Otto von Bismarck also created a stir. Cosima Wagner wrote of their public familiarity: "Such things do no honour to the crown or to art."

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