Scalchi, Sofia



Italian dramatic contralto; born at Turin, and studied with Augusta Bocco Badati at Bologna. Both her parents were singers and she made her debut as Ulrica in Un Balle in Maschera at Mantua in 1866. After her first appearance she studied for a time with Vannuccini at Florence, and shortly after completing her study with him was heard in various Italian cities, among them Bologna, Nice, Venice and Verona. In 1868 she was heard for the first time in London, and the same year toured the English provinces, Ireland, Scotland, visited St. Petersburg and other Russian cities, Spain, Austria and South America. At St. Petersburg Mme. Scalchi was the leading contralto at the Imperial Opera. In 1882 she sang at the Cincinnati Festival with Albani, Patti and other singers, also appearing with Abbey's Company at the Metropolitan Opera House. She returned to the United States in 1891 with the De Reszkes, Emma Eames and other singers in the Maurice Grau Company. In 1875 she married Count Luigi Alberto Lolli of Turin. She was heard oftenest in the works of Verdi, Donizetti, Meyerbeer, Cimarosa and Nicolai, and was especially successful as Siebel in Faust, Estelle is Esmeralda, and as Meala in Paul et Virginie. In 1868 Mme. Scalchi appeared at the Promenade concerts in London, and the same year was heard at Covent Garden in II Trovatore, Linda di Chamoni and Dinorah. She sings both mezzosoprano and contralto parts and her voice is of wonderful compass, possessing a range of two and a half octaves, every note even, soft and penetrating. Her latest creation is that of Dame Quickly.