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Henriette Sontag as Donna Anna
|Birth name||Gertrude Walpurgis Sontag|
3 January 1806|
|Died||17 June 1854(aged 48)|
Henriette, Countess Rossi (3 January 1806 – 17 June 1854), was a German operatic soprano of great international renown. She possessed a sweet-toned, lyrical voice and was a brilliant exponent of florid singing.
Sontag was born at Koblenz, Germany as Gertrude Walpurgis Sontag. She made her début at the age of 15. In 1823 she sang at Leipzig in Carl Maria von Weber's Der Freischütz and in December of that year created the title role in his Euryanthe. Her success was immediate, and in 1824 she went to the Königstädter Theater, Berlin.
Two years later, she sang the part of Rosina in Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia, in which her charming personality and fleet coloratura skills granted her a distinct triumph over the reigning diva, Angelica Catalani.
In 1827, she was engaged at the Paris Italian Opera, and a year later married Count Carlo Rossi. She subsequently performed at all the major musical centres of Europe, and in 1852 visited the United States where, among other engagements, she performed in a concert with the violinist Camilla Urso.
She was hired by the Italian Opera in Mexico City, where on 17 May 1854, she intoned for the first time the words of the Mexican national anthem, written by poet Francisco González Bocanegra. One month later, she was stricken with cholera and died at the age of 48. Her last appearance, fourteen days before her death, was in the role of Desdemona of Rossini's Otello. She is buried in Germany at St. Marienthal Abbey.
The full text of University Musical Encyclopedia – Great Vocalists: "Henriette Sontag" at Wikisource
- Guadalupe Jiménez Codinach, La guía del Himno Nacional Mexicano, Artes de México, (China, 2007), pp. 88, 90.
- W. Berger, Berühmte Frauen (Berlin, 1904)
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Wood, James, ed. (1907). "Sontag, Henrietta". The Nuttall Encyclopædia. London and New York: Frederick Warne.
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