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Open Features: Maria Malibran

Peter Wintersgill outlines the life of Maria Malibran who made her Paris opera debut 1828 in Rossini's Semiramide.

Born
24th. March 1808 in Paris.

Father
Manuel Garcia, tenor.

Childhood
Sang in Paer's Agnese aged 5.

Adolescence
Paris debut 1824. London debut as Rossini's Rosina 1825. Studied with father. New York debut 1826. Married Francis Malibran to escape father's harsh treatment.

Adult life
Paris opera debut 1828 in Rossini's Semiramide. She had triumphs in Paris, Naples, Rome, Vienna, Milan & London. Created the title role in Donizetti's Maria Stuarda 1835. Her first marriage having failed, she married the Belgian violinist Charles de Beriot.

She made a great impression in Bellini's La Somnambula & Norma. Her voice was notable for its colour & range, her temperament was unpredictable. Her younger sister was Pauline Viardot, a mezzo soprano.

She died 23rd. September 1836 in Manchester from a riding accident aged only 28.

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