Woman of the Century/Luisa Cappiani
CAPPIANI, Mme. Luisa, operatic singer and musical educator, was born in Trieste, Austria. Her maiden name was Young. Her paternal grandfather was a noted Scotchman who was a professor in the University of Munich. Her father was a dramatic tenor, and her mother was a German LUISA CAPPIANI. woman of high social rank. At the age of six years Luisa was a musical prodigy, and she received a thorough musical education. At the age of seventeen she was married to Mr. Kapp, an Austrian counselor. Her husband died three years alter their marriage, leaving her with two children, a son and a daughter, and with only the usual small pension to support and educate her family. After a period of prostration Mme. Kapp aroused herself and began to make use of her talents and her training;. She succeeded and earned ample means to educate her children. When Mme. Kapp began her musical career, she combined her names Kapp and Young, in the usual manner, Kapp-Young. Her teachers had been in Vienna Miss Fröhlich and the tenor Passadonna, and in Italy San Giovanni, Vanucini, Gamberini, the elder Romani and old Lamperti. Her aristocratic friends persuaded her to give two public concerts, which were so successful that Rubinstein and Piatti enraged her for their concerts in Vienna, where she lived with her mother. She was then called to court concerts in Vienna, Prague and Coburg-Gotha. In Munich her concerts brought an invitation to sing in opera. That decided her operatic career. She sang with her brother, Fred Young, in "La Juive." and under his guidance, while he sang Eleasar, her Rachelle was, on 13th May, 1860, a complete success. After that she appeared in London under the auspices and at the residence of Viscountess Palmerston, her crowning triumph being in a concert given by the Queen in the Golden Room of Buckingham Palace to the King of Belgium. Her teachers in dramatic action were her brother, the tenor Young, and his wife, and Lucille Grahn. After appearing in the Royal Theater, Hanover, she was called to Frankfort-on-the-Main, and thence to the Grand Duchy of Hesse-Cassel. At the request of the Intendant she made her debut there as Lucrezia. Her Valentine in "The Huguenots," Fides in "The Prophet" and Leonore in " Fidelio " made an impression. Herman Levi, then leader of the Grand Opera in Rotterdam, engaged her after her rendering of Elizabeth in "Tannhauser." Her appearance in Rotterdam as Ortrud in " Lohengrin " created a furore. After that she appeared in Pesth, Prague and Vienna. The sudden death of her mother caused a severe illness. A sojourn at Como restored her health so that she could sing in a festival in Bergamo. After that she sang in Italian her great role of Valentine in La Scala, in Milan, and then filled engagements for Italian opera in Bucharest and in the Imperial Theater, Nice. The great carnival of Parma followed, and there she created the r61e of Selika, singing it thirty-two times in one carnival. Yianesi, the leader of the Liceo in Barcelona, engaged her after that event. The Imperial Theater of Tiflis, Russia, was her next, though dearly bought triumph. At the end of the season she contracted bronchitis. Permitted by a foolish physician and over-persuaded by the Intendant and the Prince, she sang despite her illness. An enthusiastic torchlight procession in her honor closed the evening, but the voice which had entranced the populace was mute to acknowledge the ovation, and that night she was at the point of death by suffocation, in consequence of the ill-advised vocal exertion. September, 1S6S, the city of Are/zo bestowed upon her, for her singing in a festival, the gold medal of merit by King Victor EmanuePs decree. Six months after, Imagining herself cured, she acccepted an engagement from Max Maretzck for the Academy of Music, New York. The stormy passage brought on a relapse; still she appeared with remarkable success in "L'Afrit aine" at the Academy in 1868-69. At that time she discovered in her art fortunate secrets which enabled her to overcome the difficulties brought on her by bronchitis, and the knowledge of which has since made her famous as a teacher. After one season in America she retired from the stage and went to Milan, and there soon and often was called upon to advise young singers. After teaching in Milan two years she accepted an invitation from Boston, and, when singing in a Harvard concert, fused her name into Cappiani. to satisfy an existing popular prejudice. In 1881 she was induced to settle in New York, and there she has been very successful as a trainer. Her essays on the voice are reproduced in many musical papers in this and foreign countries, notably in Germany. When the board of examiners of the American College of Musicians was organized in Cleveland, Ohio, she was the only woman elected among eighteen professors. At a subsequent meeting in New York she was reelected.