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Catalani, Angelica

CATALANI, ANGELICA (1780-1849), Italian opera-singer, daughter of a tradesman at Sinigaglia, was educated at the convent of Santa Lucia at Gubbio, where her magnificent soprano voice, of extraordinary compass and purity, soon became famous. In 1795 she made her début on the stage at Venice, and from that moment every impresario in Europe was anxious to engage her. For nearly thirty years she sang at all the great houses, receiving very large fees; her first appearance in London being at the King's theatre in 1806. She remained in England, a prima donna without a serious rival, for seven years. Then she was given the management of the opera in Paris, but this resulted in financial failure, owing to the incapacity and extravagance of her husband, Captain Valabrègue, whom she married in 1806. But her continental tours continued to be enormously successful, until she retired in 1828. She settled at Florence in 1830, where she founded a free singing school for girls; and her charity and kindness were unbounded. She died of cholera in Paris on the 12th of June 1849.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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