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Open Features: Pauline Viadot-Garcia

Peter Wintersgill outlines the life of Pauline Viadot-Garcia who had an illustrious career as a singer and writer.

Born
18th. July 1821 in Paris.

Father
Manuel Garcia, Spanish tenor, composer and singing teacher.

Family
Brother Manuel, sister Maria, both singers.

Adolescence
Studied singing with parents, piano with Liszt, comoposition with Reicha.

Adult life
Opera debut 1837 Brussels, London debut 1839 as Rossini's Desdemona, Paris debut also 1839. Married Louis Viardot, manager of a Paris theatre in 1841. She created the roles of Fides in Meyerbeer's La Prophete 1849, and of Gluck's Orfeo (Paris 1859) and Alceste (1861). She also gave the premiere of Brahm's Alto Rhapsody 1869.

She was a close friend of Schumann, Saint-Saens and the poet and novelist Turgenev. She retired from the stage in 1863, wrote plays, painted and composed. She taught singing at the Paris Conservatoire 1871-75.

She died 18th. May 1910 in Paris aged 88.

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