Giovanni Mario [orig. Giovanni Matteo, Cavaliere di Candia] (17 Oct 1810 - 11 Dec 1883): Italian tenor. Debut Paris Opéra (1838) Robert le Diable. Sang in London from 1839 to 1871 at various theaters. He originally eloped with a ballerina to Paris in 1836. Then he married Giulia Grisi in 1844. Sang in the world premiere of Don Pasquale (1843). First London Gennaro, Ernesto, Duke of Mantua, John of Leyden, and Roméo. He was poverty stricken after his retirement. Considered to have had one of the finest voices of the 19th century. Pauline Viardot-Garcia (18 Jul 1821 - 18 May 1910): French mezzo-soprano of Spanish birth. Daughter of Manuel Garcia, and the younger sister of Maria Malibran. Studied singing with her mother and brother, and piano with Liszt, among others. Debut (concert form) Brussels (13 Dec 1833). Stage debut London (Her Majesty's) (May 1839) as Rossini's Desdemona. Married Louis Viardot, manager of Théàtre-Italien in Paris. Created Fidès in Le Prophète (1849). Created the title role in Gounod's Sapho. First London Azucena. Sang throughout Germany; London, Paris. Viardot-Garcia also was known for writing poetry, plays and operettas. Her pupils included Désirée Artôt, Marianne Brandt, Organi, and Teresa Arkel. Seen here in Orfeo.Eugène Caron (1834(5) - 1903): French baritone. Debut (22 Sep 1862) as Count de Luna (seen here) in Il Trouvère at the Le Peletier. At the Palais Garnier he created Enguerrand in La Reine Berth, Thomas in La Vierge, and Maîitre Jean in Jeanne d'Arc. He retired in 1886. Adelaide Borghi-Mamo (Bologna: 9 Aug 1826 - Bologna: 29 Sep 1901) was an Italian mezzo-soprano. Debut (1843) Urbino, as Bianca in Il giuramento. Quickly appeared throughout Italy. Created Morna (Pacini: Malvina di Scozi), Olimpia (Mercandante: Statira), Odetta (Pacini: Romilda di Provenza), and several other roles. In 1860 she travelled to London, and then back to Italy to appear in Milan, Venice, and Bologna. She has also appeared in Paris and Madrid.
Giulia Grisi (1811 - 1869), Italian soprano. She toured the United States in 1854 with Giuseppe Mario, whom she married in 1856. Roles were written for her by Bellini, in I Puritani, and by Donizetti, in Don Pasquale. Her first teacher was her sister, Giuditta Grisi, 1805–40, a mezzo-soprano, who married and retired in 1834. Giulia was married to Giovanni Mario."Grisi has often told me the story of her debut. How, when hardly fourteen years old, she sang the part of Emma in the "Zelmira" at Bologna. It was at an hour's notice. There was no one to be found to replace the singer who had suddenly been taken ill. Giulia, to the surprise of all her family, offered to relieve the manager from his embarrassment: was accepted and acquitted herself admirably. So satisfied was the Impresario with her success, that he gave her an engagement for all the season. From Bologna Grisi went to Florence, and thence to Milan in 1831. On every occasion the same "good luck" attended her until her first appearance in London in 1834, when, strange to say, the young debutante was but coldly received. She had previously sung in Paris with great success, when Laporte had heard and engaged her." 12 Sep 1867Grisi and Mario were reportedly on the receiving end of a negative claque in Madrid: "Madame Grisi lately met with a very unfriendly reception in Madrid, from what cause we are not informed. A Madrid letter (no date) in the Independence Belge says that at the performance of Norma 50 or 60 persons hired for the purpose, and placed in little groups in the upper galleries, greeted her with groans and noises of all kinds, which completely drowned the voices of Madame Grisi and Mario. The uproar was at its height at the commencement of the duet in the second act. Potatoes were then thrown from the upper galleries, falling at the feet of Madame Grisi, and rebounding into the pit. The public in the boxes and other parts of the house rose indignantly to protest against such an outrage, but Madame Grisi withdrew, her face bathed in tears. Mario attempted for some seconds to brave the storm, but was obliged to leave the stage. One of the employees of the theatre came forward to announce that the performance would not be continued, Madame Grisi having fainted away, overcome with emotion." 8 Nov 1859
WhatSingersTakefortheirVoicesLa Gazzetta Piedmontese gives the following particulars as to the way in which famous lady singers have contrived, and still contrive, to strengthen their voices: Mdme. Sontag, by eating sardines; Mdme. Despiorre, by drinking hot water; Mdme. Cruvelli, claret; Mdme. Patti, seltzer water; Mdme. Nilsson, beer; Mdme. Cabol, by eating pears; Mdme. Trebelli, strawberries; Mdme. Borghi-Mamo, by taking snuff; Mdme. Dorus-Gras, by eating cold meat. Several singers of the male sex also have indulged in similar freaks. Sabatt, the Swedish tenor, used to eat pickled cucumber; Berk, the baritone, hardly ever spoke for fear of spoiling his voice. Kinderman was in the habit of sucking prunes. The Yorkshire EveningPost,6Jul1893.