Michelle Pauline Viardot-Garcia

Viardot-Garcia, Michelle Pauline


Born, July 18, 1821, in Paris; died there May 17-18, 1910. Singer (mezzo-soprano), voice teacher, and composer.

Viardot-Garcia was the daughter and pupil of the Spanish singer and teacher M. Garcia (the elder), and she also took piano lessons from F. Liszt and studied composition theory with A. Reicha. In 1837, Viardot-Garcia made her operatic stage debut in Brussels, and from 1839 she was a soloist with the Italian Opera in Paris. She performed in various European theaters, including those of St. Petersburg; after 1837 she gave many concert recitals. Viardot-Garcia’s art was characterized by a high degree of musical culture and dramatic expression; she possessed a voice with a wide range, and her repertoire was varied. Her roles included the following: Fides (Meyerbeer’s Prophete), Sapho (Gounod’s Sapho), Orphee (Gluck’s Orphee etEurydice), Cenerentola (Rossini’s La Cenerentola), Rosina (Rossini’s The Barber of Seville), Desdemona (Rossini’s Otello), Norma (Bellini’s Norma), Lucia (Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor), Leonora (Donizetti’s Favorita), and Donna Anna (Mozart’s Don Giovanni). In 1863, Viardot-Garcia retired from the stage and devoted herself to teaching. She composed many romances and several comic operas, including Too Many Women (1867), The Lone Wo//(1868), and Le Dernier Sorcier (1869). The librettos for these operas were written by I. S. Turgenev, who was a close friend of Viardot-Garcia. During the years 1871-75 she taught singing at the Paris Conserva-tory. Among her students were D. Artot, M. Brandt, and A. Sterling.


Rozanov, A. Polina Viardo-Garsia. Leningrad, 1969.
Torrigi-Heiroth, Z. M-me Pauline Viardot-Garcia: Sa biographic, ses compositions, son enseignement. Geneva, 1901.