Piccolomini, Marietta



Italian operatic mezzosoprano, who introduced the rapid, canary-bird style. She was also called Maria. She was born at Sienna, of noble family, the date of her birth being given as 1834 or 1836. She studied under Mazzarelli and Romani, and in 1852 made her debut as Lucrezia Borgfa at the Pergola of Florence. She afterward sang at Sienna, Rome, Bologna and other towns, and in 1855 at the Carignan Theatre in Turin sang Violetta in II Travfeta. The next year she played at Her Majesty's Theatre, London, and at the Theatre des Italiens in Paris, and spent 1857 and 1858 in London, coming from there to America, where she was very successful. In 1859 she was at Drury Lane, and in 1860 made her farewell appearance at Her Majesty's Theatre, married Marchese Gaetani, and retired, but returned to London in 1863 to sing at a benefit for her old manager, Lumley. Her best role was Violetta. Her intonation was rather uncertain and her compass not very great, but she was a charming actress. Arlene in the Bohemian Girl, Adina in L'Elisir d'Amour, Maria in La Figlia di Regimento, Norma, and Luisa Miller were among her other parts.