Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Birth(day) of Maria Malibran

Let's wish a happy 201st birthday to the Maria Callas of the early nineteenth century: Maria Malibran was the prima diva who in many ways set the mold that Great Ladies of the Opera have followed ever since.

She crammed an epic of color and incident into her tragically short life (just 28 years), commanding ovations from audiences across Europe in a repertoire that included creating the title role in Donizetti's Maria Stuarda and a bouquet of Rossini heroines. From all accounts she was a vivid stage presence, and if this portrait is to be believed, a rather insinuating minx indeed.

She was impersonated onscreen by no mean slouch at insinuating herself, the fabulous Miss Candy Darling, in 1971's underground sensation The Death of Maria Malibran. Any excuse to bring up a Warhol superstar, no?

1 comment:

  1. Poor Maria. Met her demise due to complications from a riding accident...much like Cole Porter (though he suffered from his injuries for decades after his accident), Pope Urban VI, Genghis Khan, William the Conquerer and Christopher Reeve.

    If one wants to believe the outrageous legend, they can also throw Catherine the Great into the group of famous persons felled by horses.