Lovisa Augusti

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Lovisa Sofia Augusti
Born Ester Salomon
1756
Germany
Died 25 June 1790 (aged 33)
Stockholm, Sweden
Other names Lovisa Sofia Salomoni
Spouse(s) F. B. Augusti

Lovisa Sofia Augusti, (born Ester Salomon; 1756 – 25 June 1790) was a Swedish opera singer. She was a court singer (Hovsångare) and a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music.

Biography[edit]

The daughter of Israel Salomon, a traveling Jewish musician from Germany, Lovisa had already made a name for herself in her childhood as a singer in Gothenburg. Lovisa Augusti is first mentioned in Varberg in 1766, where she sang "Italian arias" while her fourteen-year-old brother played the violin.[1] In 22 February 1767, she performed at a concert in Gothenburg directed by a musician of the Hovkapellet.[2] She converted to Christianity in Gothenburg in 1767, when she received the name Lovisa Sofia Salmoni at her baptismal. The conversion was made together with her brother, who was a violinist, to avoid the regulations of non-Christian entertainers.

A the age of seventeen, as the protegée of the wife of the General von Kaulbar, she sang for King Gustav III of Sweden in Kristianstad, who was so impressed by her performance that he granted her a position at the Royal Swedish Opera at Bollhuset in Stockholm and made her a court singer (1773). She was married at the time, and her husband, F. B. Augusti, who was also a musician (a violinist), was given a position in the royal chapel; her brother, also a violinist, were given the same position, which he kept until 1812. In her personal appearance, she was described as short and pretty, and often called "Lilla fru Augusti" ("Little Mrs Augusti").

The details of her musical education are entirely unknown; however, she most likely did not receive formal education. She was thought by many to be naturally talented, and she was considered to be one of the best singers in Sweden at that time. At her debut in the Opera in Stockholm, one viewer mused that "at the sight of her, one thought one saw Venus, but when she started singing, one found she was Apollo."

Her most well-known roles were her portrayal of Apollo (and later the part of Eurydice) in Orpheus and Eurydice by Glück in 1775, the part of Love in Adonis (the season 1775–1776), Astrild in Silvie by Berton (1773–1774), the Joy in Amphion by Adlerbeth, Anna Eriksdotter (Bielke) in Gustaf Vasa by Gustav III (1785) and Märta Banér in Gustaf Adolf and Ebba Brahe by Gustav III (1787–1788). Other parts were Amphitrite in Neptun and Amphitrite by Gallodier with Johan Filip Lising (1774–1775), Aeglé in Aeglé by Adlerbeth with Carl Stenborg (1774–1775), Zelis in Aline, drottning av Golconda by Uttini, (1775–1776), Lucile in Lucile with Carl Stenborg (1775–1776), Lovisa in Desertören (1776–1777), and Jealousy in Procris and Cephal by Gretry (1777–1778).

Augusti was the cover for the great prima donna Elisabeth Olin whenever she was sick or had to take maternity leave, but when Olin retired in 1784, she was replaced as the leading prima donna by Caroline Halle-Müller, not with Augusti. Augusti remained in the Opera, and in 1788 she was elected in to the Royal Swedish Academy of Music. She died two years later in Stockholm, before she had reached the age of 34. Her spouse left the country because of his debts in 1787, and she had no children[3]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.ub.gu.se/fasta/laban/erez/kvinnohistoriska/tidskrifter/idun/1891/pdf/1891_41.pdf
  2. ^ http://www.ub.gu.se/fasta/laban/erez/kvinnohistoriska/tidskrifter/idun/1891/pdf/1891_41.pdf
  3. ^ http://www.ub.gu.se/fasta/laban/erez/kvinnohistoriska/tidskrifter/idun/1891/pdf/1891_41.pdf

References[edit]

  • Carin Österberg: "Svenska kvinnor" (Swedish Women) 1990 (Swedish)
  • Nordisk familjebok, vol 1. A - Barograf (Dictionary) (Swedish)
  • [1] Nordisk familjebok, vol. 2. Armatoler - Bergsund (Dictionary) (Swedish)
  • Kungliga Teaterns repertoar 1773-1973 (The repertoire of the royal theatre 1773-1973) (Swedish)
  • Georg Nordensvan: "Svensk teater och svenska skådespelare. Första bandet, 1773-1842" (Swedish theatre and Swedish actors from Gustav III to our days. First book 1772-1842) (Swedish)
  • Nils Bohman: "Svenska män och kvinnor, nr 1" (Swedish men and women. Book 1. Dictionary) (Swedish)