Malibran, Maria Felicità

Malibran, Maria Felicità

Malibran, Maria Felicità (märēˈä fālēsētäˈ mälēbräNˈ), 1808–36, French-Spanish contralto. Malibran was the daughter of the tenor Manuel García and the sister of the mezzo Pauline Viardot-Garcia. She made her opera debut in 1825 as Rosina in the The Barber of Seville in London. Celebrated especially for her dramatic and passionate interpretations of roles in Rossini's and Bellini's operas, Malibran's voice was of unusual color and great range, extending into the soprano register.
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Malibran, Maria Felicita


(born García). Born Mar. 24, 1808, in Paris; died Sept. 23, 1836, in Manchester. French coloratura mezzo-soprano; of Spanish descent. Daughter and pupil of M. García; sister of the singer P. Viardot-García.

Malibran made her debut in 1825 in London. She performed in opera houses in France, Italy, and Great Britain and won fame as one of the outstanding singers of the 19th century. Her talent was best revealed in roles characterized by intense emotion and passion. Such roles included Norma and Alina in Bellini’s Norma and La Sonnambula, Leonora in Beethoven’s Fidelio, and Desdemona in Rossini’s Otello. Malibran’s performances were distinguished by improvisation and great artistry. She wrote a number of musical compositions, including nocturnes and art songs.


Pougin, A. M. Malibran. Paris, 1911.
Flament, A. La Malibran. Paris, 1937.
Lancellotti, A. Le voci d’oro, 3rd ed. Rome [1953].
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.