The New International Encyclopædia/Alboni, Marietta
ALBONI, al-bö'ne, Marietta (1823-94). An Italian contralto, horn at Cesena. in the Romagna. March 10. 1823. A pupil of Mme. Bertolotti, and later of Rossini, she made her debut at the age of fifteen at Bologna as Orsini in Lucrezia Borgia, and her success led to an engagement at La Scala, Milan. In 1S4G-47 she sang in all the principal cities of Europe; in London, at Covent Garden, in rivalry with Jenny Lind, who was at Her Majesty's Theatre. In 1852 she visited the United States, singing in the chief towns in opera and concert. With the exception of Malibran (q.v.), she was the greatest contralto of the nineteenth century. Her voice, a fine contralto with a compass of two and one-half octaves, ranging as high as mezzo-soprano, possessed at once power. sweetness, fullness, and extraordinary flexibility. In passages requiring elevation and semi-religious calmness she had no peers, owing to the moving quality of her voice. She possessed vivacity, grace, and charm as an ac- tress of the comedienne type, but lier attempt at a strongly dramatic part, like Norma, turned out a failure. She married Count Pepoli, of the Papal States, but kept her maiden name on the stage, appearing in opera at Munich as late as 1872. Her husband died in 1866, and in 1877 she married M. Zieger, a French officer. She died at Ville d'Avray, near Paris. Consult G. T. Ferris, Great Singers (New York, 1893), which gives a most picturesque account of her professional career.