Pisaroni, Bennedetta Rosamunda
Probably the best Italian contralto of her time. Born and died at Piacenza. After studying with Pino, Moschini and Marchesi, she appeared at Bergamo, in 1811, in Griselda, Camilla, and other high soprano parts, but lost her high notes during an illness at Parma in 1813. After having cultivated a rich and powerful contralto she reappeared; created Meyerbeer's Romilda e Costanzo, sang in the same composer's L'Esule di Granata, and in Themistocles, written for her by Pacini. In 1827 she made her Paris debut as Arsace in Semiramide and also played Malcolm in La Donna de Lago, one of her favorite roles. Her face was disfigured with smallpox and her figure ungainly, yet her wonderful voice and fine acting won warm admiration for her, and she shone brilliantly in rivalry with Malibran and Sontag. Her London season in 1829 was a failure and she returned to Italy. The next two years were spent at Cadiz. She retired in 1835.