"Marietta Alboni was born in 1824 in a small Italian town. When still in her teens her parents, seeing that she was gifted with a superb voice, had it trained with the utmost care. Rossini, who was then the director of the Bologne conservatory, heard her, predicted her glorious future and superintended her studies for several years. The young singer made her debut in La Scala, and meeting with brilliant success she was afterward engaged for the principal cities of Italy, Austria, Russia and Germany. In 1847 she sang in Covent Garden while Jennie Lind was singing in the Queen’s Theater, and both cantatrices rivaled with each other in applause and in drawing crowded halls. In the fall of 1847 she sang in a series of concerts for the first time in Paris, and some time after she made her debut at the Theatre Italien in Rossini’s “Cenerentola,” her greatest success. After a season at the Grand Opera Alboni accepted brilliant engagements for North and South America, where, no doubt, many of my readers had the pleasure hearing her."After her marriage to the Count Pepoli she sang only when she was offered great sums of money or for charity’s sake, and on the death of her first husband she expressed her intention of retiring entirely from the stage. In 1892, however, she created the contralto part in “Il Matrimonio Segreto.” In 1877 Mme. Alboni married an officer of la Garde Republicaine, Charles Zieger. She then retired from the stage forever. Her voice, however, had lost nothing of its sweetness and its extent, and on certain anniversaries she loved to invite her friends and for them sing some of her favorite airs." --- Emma Bullet12July1894
Marietta Alboni [orig. Maria Anna Marzia] (6 Mar 1823 - 23 Jun 1894): Italian contralto. Studied with Bertinotti. Worked personally with Rossini to learn his contralto roles. Debut Bologna 1842 as Climene in Pacini's Saffo. Leading contralto at London's Covent Garden and was considered a rival to Jenny Lind. Meyerbeer wrote Page's Aria (Les Huguenots) for her. She sang the baritone role of Carlos in the first Covent Garden Ernani when both Tamburini and Roncini turned it down. Sang at Rossini'sfuneralalongwithAdelinaPatti."One of the greatest artists of the lyric stage has just passed away. The French press says that the era of such singers as Alboni is over. Alboni, it is true, had the most incomparable voice both as to extension of register as well as sweetness. Of the famous trio, Malibran, Alboni and Viardot, the latter only is still among the living. Since she retired from the stage Alboni lived in Paris. She was one of the few singers who knew when to retire and fatigue her auditors by remaining on the stage when her voice was gone and she also is one of the few who knew how to amass and keep a fortune. She lived in opulence, having her own private mansion in Cour la Reine and her country seat in Vill d’Avray."From her youth up Alboni’s greatest enemy was corpulency [sic]. At the beginning of her career, when she sang the part of the page in “Lucrezia Borgia,” she was already possessed of too much avoirdupois; and her flesh has been steadily increasing until, as an American girl expressed it, when she saw her at her home, where she sang for the last time, she was a sight. It was rarely that she and her husband consented to go into society, but when they did they were at once recognized as two immense waddlers able only to make very short steps by means of canes. In the later years, whenever Alboni consented to sing, she always did it sitting in the widest chair that could be procured for her, or in the one at her home, which had been made on purpose to contain her immense weight and corpulence.
Louis Guéymard (17 Aug 1822 - Jul 1880): French tenor. Debut Lyons (1845). Leading tenor at the Paris Opéra until 1868. Created Arrigo (Vêpres siciliennes), Jonas (Prophète) and Assad (La Reine de Saba). Married to Belgian soprano Pauline Lauters-Guéymard.Pauline Lauters-Guéymard (Brussels: 1 Dec 1834 - ): Belgian soprano/mezzo. She had a career equal to or greater to that of her husband, Louis Guéymard. She made her debut (7 Oct 1854) under her first husband's name, Deligne. Guéymard was involved in a number of premieres. She appeared in Massé's La Mule de Pedro (Gilda: 1863), and La Coupe du roi de Thulé (Myrrha), David's Herculanum (Lelia: 1859), Bellini's Roméo et Juliette (Juliette: 1859), Poniatowski's Pierre de Medicis (Laura: 1860), Gounod's La Reine de Saba (la Reine: 1862), Mermet's Roland à Roncevaux (Alde: 1864), Verdi's Don Carlos (Eboli: 11 Mar 1867), and Thomas's Hamlet (1868).