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Luisa Tetrazzini (1871 - 1940)

Tetrazzini studied singing initially with her sister Eva, herself a successful singer, and then at the Istituto Musicale, Florence with Ceccherini and Contrucci. Married at an early age to Giuseppe Scalaberni, who owned the building in which the Teatro Pagliano was located, she spent many hours listening to rehearsals and when, aged only nineteen (1890), she learnt that the soprano scheduled to sing Inez in a production of L’Africana was ill, she substituted for her and was an immediate success: her career was launched. She went on to sing in many of the smaller Italian opera houses and at the Teatro Argentina in Rome.

In 1892 Tetrazzini travelled to South America, making her debut in Buenos Aires in the title role of Lucia di Lammermoor and enjoying not only success in Argentina but also when singing in Brazil, Mexico and Uruguay. During 1896 she appeared in Florence and Milan as well as in Berlin and St Petersburg before returning to Mexico in 1898. During this period her repertoire was focused upon lyric coloratura parts such as Violetta / La traviata, Gilda / Rigoletto, Philene / Mignon and Oscar / Un ballo in maschera as well as Lucia.




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