Parepa-Rosa, Euphrosyne (1836–1874)

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Parepa-Rosa, Euphrosyne (1836–1874)

English soprano. Name variations: Euphrosyne Parepa Rosa. Born Euphrosyne Parepa de Boyesku on May 7, 1836 (one source cites 1839), in Edinburgh, Scotland; died on January 21, 1874, in London, England; daughter of Baron Georgiades de Boyesku of Bucharest (a noble) and a mother whose last name was Seguin (a lyric stage actress); niece of Arthur Edward Sheldon Seguin; married Captain Henry de Wolfe Carvell, in 1864 (died 1865); married Carl August Nicholas Rosa (a violinist), in 1867; no children.

Made debut in Malta, and performed throughout Europe (1850s); debuted in London (1857); toured America for the first time (1866); performed in Egypt (1872–73).

Selected major roles:

Amina in La Sonnambula (Malta, 1855); appearance in Il Puritani (London, 1857); Rosina in The Barber of Seville (U.S., 1860s).

The daughter of a Bucharest noble who died when she was an infant and a mother who then went on the stage as a lyric actress to earn a living, Euphrosyne Parepa-Rosa made her singing debut at age 16, in Malta. Able to speak English, Italian, French, German, and Spanish with ease, she subsequently toured Naples, Genoa, Rome, Florence, Madrid, and Lisbon. Her powerful soprano and energetic delivery made her a great favorite of European audiences, and during the two years she performed on the Continent she won accolades from both music critics and the public. Parepa-Rosa made her London debut in 1857, receiving high praise for her performance in Il Puritani. She continued performing in England for nine years. During this time she married a British East India officer, Henry de Wolfe Carvell, who died only 16 months later. In 1866, Parepa-Rosa traveled to America, on tour with cornetist Levy and violinist Carl Rosa, and debuted in New York City. She married Carl Rosa in 1867, and together they established an English opera company which toured cities throughout the United States from 1869 to 1872. Parepa-Rosa routinely performed concerts, oratorio, and opera as often as 20 times in as many days, and became well loved by the public; one of her greatest successes in the United States was as Rosina in The Barber of Seville. Possessed of a voice with great reach and thorough balance, Parepa-Rosa also demonstrated flawless intonation and enunciation. Music critics considered her unequaled in both oratorio and concert. During the winter of 1872–73, she performed in Egypt at the court of the khedive, and died a year later, in London, at the age of 38.


Concise Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford and NY: Oxford University Press, 1992.

King, William C. Woman: Her Position, Influence, and Achievement Throughout the Civilized World: From the Garden of Eden to the Twentieth Century. Springfield, MA: King-Richardson, 1900.

Parton, James, et al. Eminent Women of the Age. Hartford, CT: S.M. Betts, 1868.

Richard C. C. , freelance writer, Eugene, Oregon

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