Mario, Giuseppe

Conte di Candia



Operatic tenor, whose elegance and personal beauty helped to make him a great favorite of his time. Cagliari is generally conceded to be his birthplace, and though the date is uncertain, being given as 1808, 1810 and 1812, there is reason to believe 1810 is correct. Of noble family, his father had been a general in the Piedmontese Army and he himself studied the profession of arms in the Military Academy at Turin, and later became an officer in the Piedmontese Guard. In 1836 he went to Paris, where he was urged to go on the stage. He hesitated, but at last signed a contract with the manager of the Opera, where, in 1838, he appeared in Robert le Diable. He had spent some time studying under the direction of Michelet, Ponchard and Bordogni, but was not a finished singer on his first appearance,, and owed his immediate success in great measure to the natural beauty of his voice and to his personal charm. In 1839 he sang in London in Lucrezia Borgia, and in 1840 he became a member of the Italian Opera Company in Paris. From 1843 to 1846 he sang in Rubini's place in the quartet with Tanborini, Lablache and Mme. Grisi, who afterward became his wife. For twentyfive years he and Grisi appeared in opera in Paris, London and St. Petersburg. They came to America for the season of 1854 under Hackett's management, and opened the new building of the Academy of Music, New York., with a performance of Norma. In 1867 Mario retired from the stage, living for a while in Paris, then going to Rome, where he died. Among the operas he has appeared in are Don Pasquale, Ugpnotti, La Favorita, and Don Giovanni; and the roles of Almarivo, Raoul, and Gennaro. He was chamber-concerts, where his elegance and grace appeared to the best advantage. His voice was delightful, and his style of delivery and stage presence unusually charming. He had also great taste in the matter of costume, and always appeared on the stage artistically dressed.