Maria F. Malibran
1808 – 1836 A.D.
Maria F. Malibran, a Spanish singer, born in Paris. She was the eldest daughter of the singer and instructor, Manuel Garcia, by whom she was taken when nine years old to England. Her father instructed her in singing and by her seventeenth year she has acquired so great a facility that she was enable to make her début successfully in London.
In the autumn of 1825 she accompanied her father to America as a prima donna of an opera company of which he had assumed the direction. She appeared in New York in the part of Rosina, the occasion being memorable in musical annals as that which witnessed the introduction of the Italian opera into the United States. Her reception was enthusiastic, and she appeared successively in a number of parts, each of which subsequently became a perfect creation in her hands.
In 1826 she was married to Eugene Malibran, a French merchant of New York, from whom she separated the following year.
On her return to Europe, her career was prosperous and billiant, during the few remaining years of her life. The French courts having pronounced her marriage with M. Malibran void, she was married in March 1836 to De Béroit, the celebrated violinist.
In April following she was injured by a fall from her horse, but made light of the matter. In September she went to the musical festival in Manchester, England, and, contrary to the advice of her physician, took part in the performances. A nervous fever set in, which soon proved fatal.
Mme. Malibran was one of the world’s great singers, and her dramatic ability was scarcely less remarkable. Her voice, a mezzo-soprano approaching a contralto, of great volume and purity, had been brought to almost absolute perfection by the severe training of her father. Her range included some of the finest operatic roles, and she also sang with wonderful effect the sublime music of Handel’s oratorios. Her intellect was of a high order, and her personal qualities accorded with her lyrical genius, few women having been more beloved for their amiability, generosity, and professional enthusiasm. She composed several songs, nocturnes, and romances, some of which have been published.
Reference: Famous Women; An Outline of Feminine Achievement Through the Ages With Life Stories of Five Hundred Noted Women By Joseph Adelman. Copyright, 1926 by Ellis M. Lonow Company.