Sophie Cruvelli


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(b Bielefeld, 12 March 1826; d Nice or Monaco, 6 Nov 1907). German soprano. A pupil of Francesco Lamperti, she made her début at La Fenice, Venice, in 1847 as Odabella (Attila). She repeated the same role in Udine, followed by Lucrezia (I due Foscari). Giuseppe Verdi's early operas suited her voice, which was large and powerful if not always under perfect control, and in 1848 she sang Elvira (Ernani) and Abigaille (Nabucco, given as Nino) at Her Majesty's Theatre in London, as well as Leonore (Fidelio) and Countess Almaviva. She appeared in Milan in 1849–50, singing roles including Odabella, Elvira, Abigaille, Rosina and Norma. She made her Paris début in 1851 as Elvira, and at the Théâtre Italien she also sang in Norma, La sonnambula, Fidelio and Semiramide. In 1854 she transferred to the Opéra (her performance is reported in Dwight's Journal, iv (1853–4), 150–51), appearing as Valentine (Les Huguenots), Julia (La vestale) and Rachel (La Juive). She then returned to London, where she sang in Gioachino Rossini's Otello, in Fidelio and as Donna Anna at Covent Garden. She created Hélène in Les vêpres siciliennes at the Paris Opéra in 1855; she had an opulent voice with a range of nearly three octaves and sang with a ferocity perfectly suited to the part. She retired the following year after her marriage to Baron Vigier and organized the French première of Lohengrin in her Cercle de la Méditerranée music salon (1881, Nice).

From The Grove Book of Opera Singers in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Opera.

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