Romilda Pantaleoni


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(b Udine, 1847; d Milan, 20 May 1917). Italian soprano. She studied in Milan, making her début there in 1868 at the Teatro Carcano in Jacopo Foroni's Margherita. She appeared at the Apollo on the Greek Island of Syros in the 1869–70 season. In 1882 she sang in the première of Tomás Giribaldi's Manfredi di Svevia at the Teatro Solis, Montevideo. After singing in Rome, Genoa, Modena, Naples, Turin, Vienna and Brescia, in 1883 she made her début at La Scala as La Gioconda. She sang Anna in the first Milan performance of Giacomo Puccini's Le villi (1884) and created the title role, written for her, in Amilcare Ponchielli's Marion Delorme (1885). She sang Desdemona in the first performance of Giuseppe Verdi's Otello (1887), a role for which she was coached by Verdi himself, and created Tigrana in Puccini's Edgar (1889). Her repertory included Mathilde (Guillaume Tell), Paolina (Poliuto), Valentine (Les Huguenots), Sélika (L᾽Africaine), Marguerite (Faust) and Margherita (Mefistofele), as well as many Verdi roles: Leonora (Il trovatore and La forza del destino), Amelia (Un ballo in maschera), Elisabeth de Valois (Don Carlos) and Aida. She also sang Santuzza and Elsa. A magnificent singing actress, she retired in 1891 after the death of the conductor Franco Faccio with whom she had a liaison. Her brother, Adriano Pantaleoni (1837–1908), was a baritone who sang regularly at La Scala.

From The Grove Book of Opera Singers in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Opera.

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