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(pseudonym of Marcelina Kochańska). Born Feb. 18, 1858, in Wisniewczyk, Galicia, present-day Ukrainian SSR; died Jan. 11, 1935, in New York. Polish coloratura soprano.
Sembrich’s musical talent appeared at an early age. She studied piano at the L’vov Conservatory (1869–73) and the Vienna Conservatory (1875–77). In 1875, on the advice of F. Liszt, she began to study singing and became a pupil of V. Rokitansky and G. Lamperti. After making her debut in Athens in 1877, she performed in Dresden (1878) and in London (1880–85). From 1898 to 1909 she sang at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, also touring Germany, Spain, Russia (first in 1880), the Scandinavian countries, the United States, and France. Sembrich performed more than 40 roles in the operas of Mozart, Rossini, Bellini, Verdi, and Wagner. After retiring from the stage, she taught (from 1924) at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia and at the Juilliard School in New York. Sembrich was a famous singer, and her voice was noted for its wide range and rare expressiveness.