Alboni, Marietta


One of the most celebrated contraltos of the Nineteenth Century. She was born in Cesena, one of the very old cities of Italy and showing great talent at an early age, had here her first instruction, later studying with Madame Bertolotti at Bologna. While at Bologna she attracted the attention of Rossini and became his pupil. She is said to have been the only one he ever had. She made her debut at La Scala, in Milan, in 1843, in Donizetti's Lucrezia Borgia and afterwards sang all over Europe with the greatest success. In the spring of 1847, she went to London and appeared at Covent Garden as a rival of Jenny Lind, then in the height of her fame. Here she was must successful, especially in Semiramide, Lucrezia Borgia and as Pippo in the Gazza Ladra. She also appeared with the greatest success in Brussels, Paris and Geneva, and in 1850 made a tour of France, singing in French in La Fille du Regiment, La Favorite and La Reine de Chypre and in Paris in the part of Fides in Le Prophete. In 1853, Alboni visited North and South America, meeting with a most cordial reception. The same year she married the Count of Pepoli and retired soon after. She appeared in public only once again, in 1871, when she sang the contralto part in Rossini's mass, which the composer had requested her to do. She sang a duet with Patti at Rossini's funeral in 1868. In 1877 she married her second husband, Major Zieger. She died in Paris in 1894.