The Library of Nineteenth-Century Photography

Carlotta Marchisio

Carlotta Marchisio

A carte-de-visite portrait of the Italian soprano Carlotta Marchisio (1835-1872).

Born on 8 December 1835 in Turin, she studied there with Luigi Fabbrica. Sources disagree about her début; one places it in Venice, another in Madrid (1856). She appeared in all the leading Italian cities, as well as in London, Paris and St. Petersburg. Rossini wrote his Petite Messe Solonnelle (1864) for her and her sister, contralto Barbara Marchisio (1833-1919), with whom she frequently appeared.

Marchisio is seen here in costume as Semiramis in Rossini’s Semiramide. In ancient legend, Semiramis was a daughter of the goddess Derceto and a young Assyrian. She married Menones, but he hanged himself when Ninus, King of Assyria and founder of Nineveh, demanded her from him. Semiramis then married Ninus who was so enamoured that he resigned his crown to her, whereupon Semiramis put him to death, only to be slain herself by her son Ninyas.

Photographed by Disdéri of Paris.


Code: 123097
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