Todi, Luiza Rosa de Aguiar

1748-1793

 

An opera-singer, contemporary to Mme. Mara, whose rival she was with the Parisian public in 1783; was born in Setabul, Portugal, in 1748. Her musical education was under the care of David Perez at Lisbon. In 1777 she sang in Paisiello's Dne Contesse in London with only moderate success, but her performance of the same composer's Olimpiade at Madrid was enthusiastically received, and her singing at Paris and Versailles the following year was much applauded. She went to Lisbon, but appeared in Paris again in 1781. She was engaged at the Berlin Opera in 1782, but failed to please critical Frederick the Great, and the following year returned to Paris, where she sang in the Concerts Spirituels and became so popular that two factions sprang up in Paris, the Todistes and the Maratistes, composed of those who favored Todi or Mara as the greater singer. After her triumphs in Paris she went to Berlin, and was asked to remain, but she had already signed a contract to sing in St. Petersburg, where she stayed until 1786. In that year Frederick Wilhelm II. engaged her to sing at Berlin. She retained this position until 1789, then returned to Paris, where she sang in a scena entitled Sarete alfin content!, composed for her by Cherubini. She returned to Lisbon in 1792 and died there. During her engagements in Russia she formed a remarkable intimacy with Empress Catherine, over whom she is said to have had great influence. She sang in Neumann's Medea, Reichardt's Andromeda, Sarti's Armida, and many other important roles.