Pauline Viardot

Pauline Viardot (pronounced [po.lin vjaʁ.do];18 July 1821 – 18 May 1910) was a leading nineteenth-century French mezzo-soprano, pedagogue, and composer of Spanish descent.

Born Michelle Ferdinande Pauline García, her name appears in various forms. When it is not simply "Pauline Viardot", it most commonly appears in association with her maiden name García or the unaccented form, Garcia. This name sometimes precedes Viardot and sometimes follows it. Sometimes the words are hyphenated; sometimes they are not. She achieved initial fame as "Pauline García"; the accent was dropped at some point, but exactly when is not clear.[1] After her marriage, she referred to herself simply as "Mme Viardot".[2]

She came from a musical family and took up music at a young age. She began performing as a teenager and had a long and illustrious career as a star performer.

Pauline Viardot
Pauline Viardot-Garcia 3
Michelle Ferdinande Pauline García

18 July 1821
Died18 May 1910 (aged 88)
Paris, France

Early life

Pauline Viardot
Pauline Viardot

Michelle Ferdinande Pauline García Sitches was born in Paris. Her father, Manuel, a tenor, was a singing teacher, composer and impresario. Her godparents were Ferdinando Paer and Princess Pauline Galitsin, who provided her with her middle names.[3] She was 13 years younger than her sister, Maria, also a diva. Her father trained her on the piano and also gave her singing lessons.

As a little girl, she travelled with her family to London, New York City (where her father, mother, brother and sister gave the first performance of Mozart's Don Giovanni in the United States, in the presence of the librettist, Lorenzo Da Ponte[4]) and Mexico.

By the age of six she was fluent in Spanish, French, English and Italian; later in her career, she sang Russian arias so well that she was taken for a native speaker.[2] After her father's death in 1832, her mother, soprano Joaquina Sitchez, took over her singing lessons, and forced her to focus her attention on her voice and away from the piano.

She had wanted to become a professional concert pianist. She had taken piano lessons with the young Franz Liszt[4][5] and counterpoint and harmony classes with Anton Reicha, the teacher of Liszt and Hector Berlioz, and friend of Ludwig van Beethoven. It was with the greatest regret that she abandoned her strong vocation for the piano, which she did only because she did not dare to disobey her mother's wishes.[5]

She remained an outstanding pianist all her life, and often played duets with her friend Frédéric Chopin, who approved of her arranging some of his mazurkas as songs, and even assisted her in this. Liszt, Ignaz Moscheles, Adolphe Adam, Camille Saint-Saëns and others have left accounts of her excellent piano playing.[5]

After Malibran's death in 1836, aged 28, Pauline became a professional singer, with a vocal range from C3 to F6. However, her professional debut as a musician was as a pianist, accompanying her brother-in-law, the violinist Charles Auguste de Bériot.[5]


In 1837, 16-year-old Pauline García gave her first concert performance in Brussels and in 1839, made her opera debut as Desdemona in Rossini's Otello in London. This proved to be the surprise of the season. Despite her flaws, she had an exquisite technique combined with an astonishing degree of passion.

At the age of 17, she met and was courted by Alfred de Musset, who had earlier been taken with her sister Maria Malibran. Some sources say he asked for Pauline's hand in marriage, but she declined. However, she remained on good terms with him for many years.[5][6] Her friend George Sand (who later based the heroine of her 1843 novel Consuelo on her) had a role in discouraging her from accepting de Musset's proposal, directing her instead to Louis Viardot (1800-1883).

Viardot, an author and the director of the Théâtre Italien and twenty-one years Pauline's senior, was financially secure and would be able to provide Pauline with much more stability than de Musset. The marriage took place on 18 April 1840. He was 39 or 40, she 18. He was devoted to her and became the manager of her career. Her children followed in her musical footsteps. Her son Paul became a concert violinist, her daughter Louise Héritte-Viardot became a composer and writer, and two other daughters became concert singers.[2]

Her marriage did not stop the steady stream of infatuated men. The Russian novelist Ivan Turgenev in particular fell passionately in love with her after hearing her rendition of The Barber of Seville in Russia in 1843. In 1845, he left Russia to follow Pauline and eventually installed himself in the Viardot household, treated her four children as his own, and adored her until he died. She, in turn, critiqued his work and through her connections and social abilities, presented him in the best light whenever they were in public. The exact status of their relationship is a matter of debate. Other men closely linked to her included the composers Charles Gounod (she created the title role in his opera Sapho) and Hector Berlioz (who initially had her in mind for the role of Dido in Les Troyens, but changed his mind, which led to a cooling of his relations with the Viardots).[6]

Renowned for her wide vocal range and her dramatic roles on stage, Viardot's performances inspired composers such as Frédéric Chopin, Berlioz, Camille Saint-Saëns (who dedicated Samson and Delilah to her, and wanted her to sing the title role, but she declined on account of her age[7]), and Giacomo Meyerbeer, for whom she created Fidès in Le prophète.

Pauline Viardot-Garcia 1
Pauline Viardot

She spoke fluent Spanish, French, Italian, English, German, and Russian, and composed songs in a variety of national techniques. Her career took her to the best music halls across Europe, and from 1843-46 she was permanently attached to the Opera in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

She spent many happy hours at George Sand's home at Nohant, with Sand and her lover Frédéric Chopin. She was given expert advice by Chopin on her piano playing, her vocal compositions, and her arrangements of some of his mazurkas as songs. He in turn derived from her some firsthand knowledge about Spanish music.[5] In July 1847, Sand's and Chopin's relationship came to an end. Viardot tried to heal the rift and get the two back together, but to no avail.[5]

She arranged instrumental works by Joseph Haydn, Franz Schubert and Johannes Brahms as songs. She was the mezzo-soprano in the Tuba mirum movement of Mozart's Requiem at Chopin's funeral at Église de la Madeleine in Paris on October 30, 1849, which she performed together with a soprano, incognito behind a black curtain.[8]

She sang the title role of Gluck's opera Orphée et Eurydice at Théâtre Lyrique in Paris in November 1859, directed by Hector Berlioz, and she sang this role over 150 times.[2] She was well acquainted with Jenny Lind, the Swedish soprano and philanthropist,[9] who had been a student of her brother.

A notable remark of hers was made to the English soprano Adelaide Kemble when they attended the late concert in London by the great Italian soprano Giuditta Pasta, who was clearly past her prime. Asked by Kemble what she thought of the voice, she replied 'Ah! It is a ruin, but then so is Leonardo's Last Supper'.

In 1863, Pauline Viardot retired from the stage. She and her family left France due to her husband's public opposition to Emperor Napoleon III and settled in Baden-Baden, Germany. In 1870, however, Johannes Brahms persuaded her to sing in the first public performance of his Alto Rhapsody, at Jena.[10]

Salon of Pauline Viardot - Gallica
Salon of Mme Viardot

After the fall of Napoleon III later in 1870, they returned to France, where she taught at the Paris Conservatory and, until her husband's death in 1883, presided over a music salon in the Boulevard Saint-Germain. Her students included Ada Adini, Désirée Artôt, Selma Ek, Marie Hanfstängl, Yelizaveta Lavrovskaya, Felia Litvinne, Aglaja Orgeni, Mafalda Salvatini, and Raimund von zur-Mühlen. See: List of music students by teacher: T to Z#Pauline Viardot.

Her pupil Natalia Iretskaya later became the teacher of Oda Slobodskaya and of Lydia Lipkowska, who in turn taught Virginia Zeani. She was also the godmother of Artôt's daughter Lola Artôt de Padilla.[11] In 1877, her daughter Marianne was briefly engaged to Gabriel Fauré, but she later married composer Alphonse Duvernoy.[3]

From the mid-1840s, until her retirement, she was renowned for her appearances in Mozart's opera Don Giovanni, an opera with which her family had long been associated (see "Early life" above). In 1855, she had purchased Mozart's original manuscript of the opera in London. She preserved it in a shrine in her Paris home, where it was visited by many notable people, including Rossini, who genuflected, and Tchaikovsky, who said he was "in the presence of divinity". It was displayed at the Exposition Universelle of 1878, and at the centenary exhibition of Don Giovanni's premiere in 1887. In 1889 she announced she would donate it to the Conservatoire de Paris, and this occurred in 1892.[12]


In 1910, Pauline Viardot died, aged 88. Her body is interred in the Montmartre Cemetery, Paris, France. The Villa Viardot[13] in Bougival, near Paris, a gift to the Viardots by Ivan Turgenev in 1874.


Pauline Viardot
Lithograph of Pauline Garcia by Bernard-Romain Julien

Viardot began composing when she was young, but it was never her intention to become a composer. Her compositions were written mainly as private pieces for her students with the intention of developing their vocal abilities. She did the bulk of her composing after her retirement at Baden-Baden. However, her works were of professional quality and Franz Liszt declared that, with Pauline Viardot, the world had finally found a woman composer of genius.[14]

Having as a young girl studied with Liszt and with the music theorist and composer Anton Reicha, she was both an outstanding pianist and a complete all-round professional musician. Between 1864 and 1874 she wrote three salon operas - Trop de femmes (1867), L'ogre (1868), and Le dernier sorcier (1869), all to libretti by Ivan Turgenev - and over fifty Lieder. Her remaining two salon operas - Le conte de fées (1879), and Cendrillon (1904; when she was 83) - were to her own libretti. The operas may be small in scale; however, they were written for advanced singers and some of the music is difficult.


Pauline Viardot Denkmal Baden Baden fcm
Bust of Viardot 2004 by Birgit Stauch in Baden-Baden


  • Choeur bohémien
  • Choeur des elfes
  • Choeur de fileuses
  • La Jeune République


  • Album de Mme Viardot-Garcia (1843)
  • L'Oiseau d'or (1843)
  • 12 Mazurkas for voice and piano – based on Frédéric Chopin's works (1848)
  • Duo, 2 solo voices and piano (1874)
  • 100 songs including 5 Gedichte (1874)
  • 4 Lieder (1880)
  • 5 Poésies toscanes-paroles by L. Pomey (1881)
  • 6 Mélodies (1884)
  • Airs italiens du XVIII siècle (trans. L. Pomey) (1886)
  • 6 chansons du XVe siècle
  • Album russe
  • Canti popolari toscani
  • Vocal arrangements of instrumental works by Johannes Brahms, Joseph Haydn and Franz Schubert


  • 2 airs de ballet for piano (1885)
  • Défilé bohémien for piano 4 hands (1885)
  • Introduction et polonaise for piano 4 hands (1874)
  • Marche militaire for 2 flutes and piccolo, 2 oboes, 2 brass choirs (1868)
  • Mazourke for piano (1868)
  • 6 morceaux for violin and piano (1868)
  • Second album russe for piano (1874)
  • Sonatine for violin and piano (1874)
  • Suite arménienne for piano 4 hands

Source: Rachel M. Harris, The Music Salon of Pauline Viardot[5]


  1. ^ Grove's Dictionary, 5th edition (1954), in a footnote to their article on her father, says: The correct Spanish spelling of the name is García, but the family dropped the accent at some time, probably when its members began to become known abroad.
  2. ^ a b c d "Pauline Viardot-Garcia (1821-1910)" (PDF). Retrieved 11 August 2016.
  3. ^ a b Eric Blom ed., Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 5th edition, 1954
  4. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 29 April 2009. Retrieved 2 March 2009.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h "THE MUSIC SALON OF PAULINE VIARDOT : FEATURING HER SALON OPERA; CENDRILLON" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 March 2007. Retrieved 11 August 2016.
  6. ^ a b "Michael Steen: Enchantress of Nations". Retrieved 11 August 2016.
  7. ^ Erica Jeal. "Erica Jeal on pianist, singer and composer Pauline Viardot". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 August 2016.
  8. ^ Frederick Niecks, The Life of Chopin, Novello, Ewers & Co., London and New York, 1888, vol. II, p. 325).
  9. ^ "Pauline Viardot: Singing In "Chopin And The Nightingale"". Retrieved 11 August 2016.
  10. ^ Michael Musgrave (27 May 1999). The Cambridge Companion to Brahms. p. 49. Retrieved 11 August 2016.
  11. ^ Anna Eugenie; Schoen Rene. America's Musical Inheritance - Memories and Reminiscences. p. 164. Retrieved 11 August 2016.
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 28 June 2017.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^ "Photographic image" (JPG). Retrieved 11 August 2016.
  14. ^ Michael Steen. Enchantress of Nations: Pauline Viardot - Soprano, Muse and Lover. ISBN 9781840468434. Retrieved 11 August 2016.


  • FitzLyon, April (1964). The Price of Genius: A Life of Pauline Viardot. London: Calder.
  • Harris, Rachel M. (2005). The Music Salon of Pauline Viardot: Featuring her Salon Opera Cendrillon. Ph.D. thesis. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University. OCLC 60545918. Electronic copy.
  • Kendall-Davies, Barbara (2003). The Life and Work of Pauline Viardot-Garcia. Vol. 1, The Years of Fame, 1836–1863. Amersham: Cambridge Scholars. ISBN 1-904303-27-7.
  • Kendall-Davies, Barbara (2012). The Life and Work of Pauline Viardot-Garcia. Vol. 2, The Years of Grace, 1863–1910. Amersham: Cambridge Scholars. ISBN 978-1-4438-4013-2.
  • Mouchon, Jean-Pierre (July 2000). "Correspondance de Pauline Viardot avec Éline Biarga, avec photos" ("Étude", n°14, juillet-août-septembre 2000, Association internationale de chant lyrique TITTA RUFFO, Marseille, France. Site:
  • Steen, Michael (2007). Enchantress of Nations. Pauline Viardot: Soprano, Muse and Lover. Thriplow: Icon. ISBN 978-1-84046-843-4.

External links

Alto Rhapsody

The Alto Rhapsody, Op. 53, is a composition for contralto, male chorus, and orchestra by Johannes Brahms, a setting of verses from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Harzreise im Winter. It was written in 1869, as a wedding gift for Robert and Clara Schumann's daughter, Julie. Brahms scholars have long speculated that the composer may have had romantic feelings for Julie, which he may have integrated into the text and music of the Alto Rhapsody. The text, with its metaphysical portrayal of a misanthropic soul who is urged to find spiritual sustenance and throw off the shackles of his suffering, has powerful parallels in Brahms's life and character.

The work is in three sections: the first two, in a chromatically dense and wandering C minor, are for the soloist and orchestra and describe the pain of the misanthropic wanderer. The second section is an aria in all but name. The third section, in a nominal C major, brings in the male chorus, which joins the soloist in a plea to a celestial spirit for an abatement of the wanderer's pain. The third part of the Rhapsody has similarities of vocal and choral style to A German Requiem, which was written the previous year.

The work typically takes between twelve and fifteen minutes in performance. See recordings, below, for indicative timings.

The work was first "tried out" on 6 October 1869, at the dress rehearsal for the Karlsruhe season's first orchestral subscription concert. Amalia Boni sang the solo part; the conductor Hermann Levi was on hand, but there was no male voice chorus, and it is unclear whether Boni was accompanied by orchestra or simply on piano. Brahms and Clara Schumann were present, but there was certainly no other audience. It received its first public performance, and its first definitely known proper performance, on 3 March 1870, at Jena. The soloist at the first performance was Pauline Viardot and the conductor was Ernst Naumann.The text Brahms set is:


Auguste Vianesi

Auguste Charles Léonard François Vianesi (2 November 1837 – 4 November 1908) was an opera conductor, born in Italy and later naturalised French. His repertoire consisted mostly of French and Italian opera, in which he directed some of the world's great singers including Pauline Viardot, Christina Nilsson, Marcella Sembrich, the brothers Edouard and Jean de Reszke, and Feodor Chaliapin in the opera houses of London, Paris, Melbourne, St. Petersburg, Boston and New York. He retired around the time when sound recording became commercially available, and he seems not to have left any recorded legacy.

Beatrix Borchard

Beatrix Borchard (born 1950) is a German musicologist and author. The focus of her publications is the life and work of female and male musicians, such as Clara and Robert Schumann, Amalie and Joseph Joachim, Pauline Viardot-Garcia, and Adriana Hölszky. Also among her topics are the role of music in the process of Jewish assimilation, the history of musical interpretation, and strategies of Kulturvermittlung.

Cendrillon (Viardot)

Cendrillon is a chamber operetta with dialogue in three acts by Pauline Viardot based on the story of Cinderella. The work, for a cast of seven with piano orchestration, premiered in Viardot's Paris salon on 23 April 1904, when she was 83, and was published later that year. Historians are unsure of when the opera was actually composed, although it is thought to be after the death of Viardot's friend (and possibly her lover) Ivan Turgenev in 1883 as he did not write the libretto. It has been described as "a retelling of the Cinderella story with Gallic wit, Italianate bel canto, and a quirkiness all her [Viardot's] own."The plot remains relatively faithful to Perrault's original fairy tale, but takes a much more lighthearted approach than the other operatic adaptations by Massenet, Rossini and Isouard. The evil stepmother is replaced with a bumbling and clueless stepfather and the Fairy Godmother (La Fée) actually appears as a guest at the party and entertains the guests with a song. A full performance of the opera lasts a little over an hour.

Consuelo (novel)

Consuelo is a novel by George Sand, first published serially in 1842-1843 in La Revue indépendante, a periodical founded in 1841 by Sand, Pierre Leroux and Louis Viardot. According to The Nuttall Encyclopædia, it is "[Sand's] masterpiece; the impersonation of the triumph of moral purity over manifold temptations."

The character of Consuelo was supposedly modeled after Louis Viardot's wife, the soprano Pauline Viardot. Pauline Viardot was a good friend of both Sand's and of her lover, Frédéric Chopin.

Elisabeth Leisinger

Elisabeth Leisinger (1864-1913) was a German dramatic soprano. Her mother initially opposed her wish for a singing career, but after her father's death she relented. She studied at the Stuttgart Conservatory and later with Pauline Viardot in Paris. She became a member of the Berlin Court Opera in 1884 and until 1894 after performing shows in Stuttgart. Her debut was as Rosina in The Barber of Seville. She unsuccessfully performed at the Grand Opera Paris in 1886, and by performing broke her contract with the Berlin Court Opera. After later marrying Dr. Müllberger in Esslingen, she retired from the stage.

Erik Schmedes

Erik Anton Julius Schmedes (27 August 1868, in Gentofte, Denmark – 23 March 1931, in Vienna) was an operatic tenor, particularly known for his roles in operas by Richard Wagner. He was the brother-in-law of Vaslav Nijinsky's wife.

Schmedes was born into a family of musicians, the most prominent of which was his brother Hakon, a noted violinist and composer. After studying in Paris, Berlin, and Vienna, he made his debut as a baritone (following encouragement from Pauline Viardot) in Wiesbaden, in 1891, as the Herald in Lohengrin. He continued to sing as a baritone until 1897. However, after further study with August Iffert in Vienna, his Heldentenor emerged. He made his debut as a tenor in 1898, singing the title role in Siegfried at the Vienna State Opera. His career remained largely based at that opera house, where he was a Kammersänger and one of the most prominent tenors during the years of Gustav Mahler's direction of the company.

Schmedes sang frequently at Bayreuth from 1899 through 1906. He also appeared at the Metropolitan Opera in the 1908–09 season, singing in Die Walküre (with Johanna Gadski, Olive Fremstad, and Louise Homer), Tiefland (the United States premiere, opposite Emmy Destinn), Parsifal, Götterdämmerung (conducted by Arturo Toscanini), and Tristan und Isolde (conducted by Mahler).

Although he primarily sang roles from the Wagnerian repertoire, Schmedes was also an admired interpreter of Florestan in Beethoven's Fidelio and the title role of Hans Pfitzner's Palestrina. During his career, he sang 1,130 performances of forty-two roles and recorded for several companies, including Gramophone and Pathé, from 1902 to 1912.

Joaquina Sitches

Maria-Joaquina Sitches Briones (also Maria-Joaquina García-Sitches and Joaquina García) (28 July 1780 – 10 May 1864) was a Spanish actress and operatic soprano.

Karin Ott

Karin Ott (born 13 December 1945) is a Swiss operatic coloratura soprano.

Born in Wädenswil near Zürich as the daughter of a doctor, as a child she studied piano, violin, then organ, and later attended the International Opera Studio at Zürich. Her first engagement was in Biel, where she sang the soprano roles in Rigoletto, La bohème (as Mimì), Die Entführung aus dem Serail (as Konstanze), and The Bartered Bride (as Marie). She has appeared with various European companies, including the Deutsche Oper Berlin, where she sang in La bohème (now as Musetta, with Enrico Di Giuseppe, 1982), Don Pasquale (as Norina, 1984), La bohème again (1985), and Lucia di Lammermoor (1985). At the Staatsoper Stuttgart, she was in the world premiere of the original version of Henze's König Hirsch in 1985. She also sang with the companies in Vienna, Munich, Paris, Zurich, Rome, Naples, Barcelona, Brussels, Amsterdam, Bordeaux, and Marseille. In concert, she has been heard in London, Milan, Salzburg, and Venice. In 1979, she performed Lucia in the United States.

Ott's discography includes songs by Pauline Viardot (1987–88), Lili Boulanger (1991), Carl Loewe, and Carl Maria von Weber, as well as Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire (live, 1990–94). In 1980, the soprano recorded her best-known role for Deutsche Grammophon, the Queen of Night in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte, with Edith Mathis, Janet Perry, Francisco Araiza, and José van Dam, under the baton of Herbert von Karajan.

Besides von Karajan, Ott has sung under Gerd Albrecht, Karl Böhm, Pierre Boulez, Michael Gielen, Ferdinand Leitner, Jesús López-Cobos, Sir Charles Mackerras, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Giuseppe Sinopoli, etc.

Le dernier sorcier

Le dernier sorcier (The Last Sorcerer) is a chamber opera in two acts with music composed by Pauline Viardot to a French libretto by Ivan Turgenev. It was first performed privately on 20 September 1867 at the Villa Turgenev in Baden-Baden and received its first public performance at the Court Theatre in Weimar on 8 April 1869 (in German translation as Der letzte Zauberer). The story revolves around Krakamiche, an old and once-powerful sorcerer whose presence in the woods has upset the elves living there, and a romance between the sorcerer's daughter Stella and Prince Lelio, whose marriage comes about through the intervention of a Queen of the Elves.

Louis Viardot

→Louis Viardot (pronounced [lwi vjaʁ.do]; July 31, 1800 in Dijon, France – May 5, 1883 in Paris, France) was a French writer, art historian, art critic, theatrical figure, and translator. As a translator, he mostly contributed to the development of Russian and Spanish literature in France.

Louise Héritte-Viardot

Louise Héritte-Viardot (14 December 1841 – 17 January 1918) was a French singer, pianist and composer. She was born in Paris, the daughter of Pauline Viardot-Garcia and Louis Viardot, niece of Maria Malibran and sister to composer and conductor Paul Viardot.

In 1863 Viardot married Ernest Héritte, Honorary Consul and Chancellor of the Embassy of France in Berne. Her performing career was ended by illness, and with the help of Clara Schumann, she found a teaching position as a singing teacher at the Hoch Conservatory. She died in Heidelberg.

Marianne Brandt (contralto)

Marianne Brandt (12 September 1842 – 9 July 1921) was an Austrian operatic singer with an international reputation.

She was born as Marie Bischof in Vienna and was educated at the music conservatory in that city, then studied with Pauline Viardot-García. She first attracted attention on stage in 1867 as Rachel in La Juive and soon afterward accepted an engagement at the Graz opera. From 1868 to 1886, she was associated with the Royal Opera in Berlin. Brandt travelled to New York during the 1880s, where she sang for several seasons (1884–1888) the principal contralto rôles at the Metropolitan Opera House under Anton Seidl's baton. Two other leading Germanic singers, the soprano Lilli Lehmann and the bass-baritone Emil Fischer, were performing at the Met at the same time as Brandt. Her associate artist for her 1887 tour was the pianist Carl Lachmund.

She returned to Vienna in 1890, working as a singing teacher and in concert performances. She died in 1921, aged 78, in Vienna and was buried in the Hadersdorf-Weidlingau cemetery in Penzing.

Gifted with a rich contralto/mezzo-soprano voice of extraordinary compass and possessing exceptional histrionic gifts, Brandt was regarded, in her prime, as being one of the greatest German operatic vocalists of the 19th century. As an admirable interpreter of Wagnerian rôles, she contributed largely to the success of the Bayreuth music festivals in 1876 and 1882. In 1890 she took up residence in Vienna as a vocal teacher. One of her pupils was Edyth Walker. Her voice can be heard on a few Pathé recordings which she made during the early 1900s while in semi-retirement; these are available on CD re-issues.

Oda Slobodskaya

Oda Slobodskaya (28 November 1888 - 30 July 1970) was a Russian born soprano who became a British citizen.

Her biographer Maurice Leonard quotes Slobodskaya as having been born on 28 November 1888 in Vilno (now Vilnius) near the Polish border. She won a scholarship for secondary education but, having completed her schooling, to her displeasure, found herself working with her parents in a secondhand clothes shop. Knowing she had a good voice, in 1907 she applied for an audition at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory. Having no classical repertoire she sang the simple songs she had learned as a chlld. Despite this lack of sophistication, her vocal potential was immediately apparent. The Director, Glazunov, and Natalya Iretskaya (the most important Russian singing tutor and herself a pupil of Pauline Viardot) accepted her and awarded her a scholarship for nine years' study.

Paul Viardot

Paul Viardot (20 July 1857 – 1 December 1941) was a French violinist and musicologist; born at Courtavenel, son of the distinguished singer and composer Pauline Viardot. Studied under Léonard and has appeared with great success in Paris and London. Compositions include two sonatas, several concert solos and smaller violin works as well as important contributions to the literature of music.The second husband of Paul's aunt, Maria Malibran, was the great Belgian violinist Charles de Bériot, who remained close to the Viardots and took an interest in the boy, though Paul actually studied with his successor at the Brussels Conservatoire Hubert Léonard (also related by marriage to the Garcia clan). Though Carl Flesch dismisses Paul Viardot as a salon player, he was clearly more than that, as he toured widely. Fauré dedicated his A major sonata of 1875/6 to him. Viardot's recordings are rare, partly because they were poorly engineered; but they suggest an example of the Franco-Belgian school of violin playing in its rather tight phase, before the loosening and relaxing influence of Eugène Ysaÿe.

Radishchev Art Museum

The Radishchev Museum in Saratov opened to the public on June 29, 1885. It is supposed to have been Russia's first major public art museum outside Moscow or St. Petersburg. It was founded by Alexey Bogolyubov and named after his grandfather, the 18th-century revolutionary writer Alexander Radishchev. The naming of the museum after the "first Russian revolutionary", Alexander Radishchev, was a direct challenge to the authorities: Bogolyubov had to endure a legal battle to get permission. It was the first art museum in Russia open to everybody. It was opened to the general public seven years earlier than the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow and fifteen years earlier than the Russian Museum in Saint Petersburg.

It includes work by Camille Corot, Ivan Kramskoy, Vasily Polenov, Ilya Repin, Ivan Shishkin, Fyodor Vasilyev, Aleksandra Ekster, Pavel Kuznetsov, Aristarkh Lentulov, Robert Falk, Pyotr Konchalovsky, Martiros Saryan, Fyodor Rokotov and others. Early donors included Pavel Tretyakov and Pauline Viardot.

Sapho (Gounod)

Sapho is a 3-act opera by Charles Gounod to a libretto by Émile Augier which was premiered by the Paris Opera at the Salle Le Peletier on 16 April 1851. It was presented only 9 times in its initial production, but was a succès d'estime for the young composer, with the critics praising Act 3 in particular. It was later revived in 2-act (1858) and 4-act (1884) versions, achieving a total of 48 performances.

Sophie Traubmann

Sophie Traubmann (May 12, 1867 – August 16, 1951) was an American soprano.

Born in New York City, Traubmann studied in that city and in Paris, where her teachers included Pauline Viardot and Mathilde Marchesi. She was coached in the performance of numerous Richard Wagner roles by Cosima Wagner. She made her debut at the Academy of Music in her native city singing Venus in Tannhäuser. She was the first Woglinde in Der Ring des Nibelungen for American audiences. She also created the role of Margiana in Der Barbier von Bagdad at its American premiere. Traubmann sang at the Metropolitan Opera for three seasons, beginning in 1887, and was also active as a soloist at numerous European opera houses during her career.

Thelma Votipka

Thelma Votipka (December 20, 1906 – October 24, 1972) was an American mezzo-soprano who sang 1,422 performances with the Metropolitan Opera, more than any other woman in the company's history (her nearest rival, Mathilde Bauermeister, sang 1,062).

Votipka was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and educated at Oberlin College. She specialized in comprimario roles. She also studied in New York City with Anna E. Schoen-Rene, a student of Pauline Viardot-Garcia and Manuel Garcia.She was a member of Vladimir Rosing's American Opera Company in the late 1920s and made her debut as the Countess in The Marriage of Figaro on December 14, 1927 in Washington D.C.She made her Metropolitan debut on December 16, 1935, as Flora in Verdi's La traviata, a role she sang 101 times with the company.

Other frequent roles with the Met included Giovanna in Verdi's Rigoletto (139 performances), Marthe in Gounod's Faust (128), Alisa in Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor (116), Frasquita in Bizet's Carmen (112), Marianne in Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier (109), the Priestess in Verdi's Aida (101), Gerhilde in Wagner's Die Walküre (93), and Mamma Lucia in Mascagni's Cavalleria rusticana (72). Mamma Lucia was the role of her final performance, in Dallas, on May 11, 1963.

Votipka shared the stage with many artists on the occasions of their Metropolitan debuts: Marjorie Lawrence, Zinka Milanov, Rose Pauly, Eleanor Steber, Astrid Varnay, Robert Merrill, Victoria de los Ángeles, Hilde Gueden, Charles Anthony, Mattiwilda Dobbs, Nicolai Gedda, and Joan Sutherland.

She returned to the Met on April 16, 1966, to sing in the quintet from Carmen as part of the gala farewell performance at the opera house at Broadway and 39th Street.

She died in New York in 1972.

Pauline Viardot

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