Banti, Brigitta Giorgi


Noted Italian singer. In her youth she was a street-singer in Crema, her native town and was said to be the daughter of a Venetian gondolier. At the age of nineteen she went to Paris, earning her way by singing at the inns and cafes that she passed. At Paris she was discovered by the manager of the Opera, was engaged and appeared at once, making a great sensation. She made her debut in a song, between the acts of an opera. After singing in Paris for some time she was engaged by the managers of the Pantheon, London, for three seasons, on condition that a certain sum from her salary should be retained, to provide lessons for her in vocal culture. She proved a very poor pupil, however, being careless and indifferent and never learning to read by sight, but, in spite of her lack of training, she was very successful and was received with great enthusiasm in Italy, Germany and England, her magnificent voice and ability as an actress, making her a great favorite wherever she appeared. Two of her most striking successes were in Gluck's opera, Alceste, and in Bianchi's Inez de Castro. She also appeared in comic opera, being particularly successful in Paisiello's Serva Padrona. Her voice, which had a wonderful compass was even throughout and very rich. It could almost be called a voice without a flaw.