Grandes cantantes en el Teatro San Fernando de Sevilla
Great singers at the Theater San Fernando of Seville
Before the start of the nineteenth century, only the most important cities outside Italy had regular, or even frequent seasons of Italian opera. But opera started to spread rapidly, and by 1850 countless cities had such seasons. For some, such as London, Ptiris, St. Petersburg, Madrid, Barcelona, Lisbon and Vienna they were on a regular basis , and so timed to keep the star singers busy the year around. Thus, Paris, St. Petersburg, Madrid and Barcelona had their seasons in the autumn and winter; London and Vienna in the spring. Seville was unusual in that, starting in the the 1830’s and perhapsearlier, a company alternated between there and Cadiz, with occasional side trips to Malaga and other Iberian cities. This changed in i86o, when the Teatro San Fernando had its’ first spring season. Singers of moderate importance were featured in that season, but more and more stars started to come every year. By the 1870’s, the caliber of the international artists singing in Seville was exceeded only to those in London and Vienna. By the 1880’s, Vienna had stopped having their regular spring seasons–making Seville second in the whole world in the glamour of these visits by International stars.
This was not to last, since more and more of these artists began going to Buenos Aires, so the Teatro Colon in that city eventually passed Seville in importance. But Seville continued to have its glorious, and tremendously important, seasons on a nearly annual basis until well into the twentieth century. Between i86o and t909 some of the artists who graced the stage of the San Fernando included, among sopranos: Eugenie Julienne-Dejean, Rosina Penco, Inez Rey-Balla, Carlotta Marchisio, Antonietta Fricci Marie Sasse, Antonietta Pozzoni, Gernma Bellincioni, Eva Tetrazzini, Maria Barrientos, Regina Pacini, Maria Galvany, and Celestina Boninsegna. Mezzos included Barbara Marchisio and Armida Parsi-Pettinella.
Sterling tenors were Carlo Baucarde, Roberto Stagno, Enbrico Tamberlick, Julian Gayarre, Emile Naudin, Antonio Aramburo, Angelo Masini, Fernando Valero, Lorenzo Abrugnedo, Francesco Tamagno, Julian Biel, Antonio Paoli, Francesco Vignas, Jose Palet and Mario Gilion. A few lower voices included Andres Perello de Segurola and Mattia Battistini. In later seasons, Angeles Ottein, Ofelia Nieto, Mercedes Capsir, Hipolito Lazaro, Tito Schipa, Michele Fleta, Giuseppe Anselmi and Giacomo Lauri-Volpi also sang in Seville.