Balbina Steffenone

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Photograph of Steffenone, c. 1860

Balbina Steffenone (also spelled Bina or Steffanone or Steffenoni, 1825–1896) was a 19th-century soprano. Born in Turin, Italy,[1] she studied in Bologna under Teresa Bertinotti, debuting as Lucia in Macerata in 1842.[2] After singing across Italy, she spent 1845-47 singing at Covent Garden, then went to North America, where she stayed for seven years.[2] Her appearances ranged from Boston to Mexico City and Havana,[2] where she remained a principal in the company under Giovanni Bottesini around 1850.[3]

She sang in the American premiere of Il trovatore at the Academy of Music in New York, sharing the roles of Leonora and Ines in the production.[2][4] On her return from Cuba in 1855, when she played Lucrezia Borgia in the opera, the New York Times called her "one of the few worth welcoming back again"; but critic Richard Grant White wrote that her voice had deteriorated into "a bewildered shriek".[5]

She continued her career in Europe, appearing in Vienna in 1859 and Naples in 1860-61, where she created Errico Petrella's Morosina.[2] She is reported to have retired in 1862,[2] but also to have taken part in the première of Vincenzo Battista's Giovanna di Castiglia at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples in 1863.[6]

She died in Naples in 1896.[1]


  1. ^ a b Giacomo Meyerbeer (2004). "October 1857". Briefwechsel und Tagebücher (in German). Walter de Gruyter. ISBN 3-11-018030-8. Retrieved 2007-08-26. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Giacomo Meyerbeer (2004). The Diaries of Giacomo Meyerbeer. Robert Ignatius Le Tellier. Fairleigh Dickinson University Press. Retrieved 2007-08-26. 
  3. ^ Katherine K. Preston (2001). Opera on the Road: Traveling Opera Troupes in the United States, 1825-60. University of Illinois Press. 
  4. ^ Almanacco di Gherardo Casaglia (entry under Maggio 1855, Mercoledì) [1]
  5. ^ Vera Brodsky (1999). Strong on Music: The New York Music Scene in the Days of George Templeton Strong, 1836-1875. University of Chicago Press. Retrieved 2007-08-26. 
  6. ^ Almanacco di Gherardo Casaglia entry under (26 Aprile 1863, Domenica) in Italian at [2]