Titiens, Teresa Caroline Johanna (DNB00)

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TITIENS (correctly TIETJENS), TERESA CAROLINE JOHANNA (1831–1877), operatic singer, born of Hungarian parents at Hamburg on 17 July 1831 (Riemann, Dict. of Music), was musically educated in her native town. Her voice was a soprano of singular sweetness and power, and in 1849 she made a successful début at Hamburg in the title part of ‘Lucrezia Borgia.’ From that year until 1856 she sang principally at Frankfort and Vienna, where she was engaged for Benjamin Lumley [q. v.] of Her Majesty's Theatre for the season of 1858. It is said to have been due to Lumley that her name was simplified to Titiens. On 13 April 1858 she appeared at Her Majesty's as Valentine in ‘Les Huguenots,’ with much success (Cox, Musical Recollections, ii. 318). Titiens's success in England induced her to make her home there. She ultimately became a naturalised British subject. For years she sang at Her Majesty's and Drury Lane under Mapleson and E. T. Smith, and also at Covent Garden and, later, at the Haymarket. Her best parts included Lucrezia, Semiramide, Countess Almaviva, Medea in Cherubini's opera of that name, and Lenora in Beethoven's ‘Fidelio,’ though in this last her triumph was vocal, since her figure was unsuited to the part. She also sang Ortrud in ‘Lohengrin.’

As a singer of sacred music Titiens was no less successful than as an opera singer, and her services for the provincial and Handel festivals were in continual demand. In 1863 she visited Paris, and during 1876 America. At the end of the last year she was accorded at the Albert Hall, London, her last benefit. In May 1877 she made as Lucrezia her last appearance on the stage, her health at that time being very weak. She died on 3 Oct. 1877, and was buried at Kensal Green.

[Musical Times, 1877, p. 534; Musical Opinion, September 1892; Grove's Dict. of Music and Musicians.]

R. H. L.