Prime donne of Rossini and Meyerbeer


This paper throws light upon the process of interaction of Italian and French tradi­tions of opera singing in the French «grand» opera. Rossini’s operas and his views on the art of singing played a very important role in formation of vocal-tessitura disposition and dramatic types of the French opera of late 20ies and 30ies of the XlXth century. The stage activity of Isabella Colbran, Giuditta Pasta, Laura Cin- ti-Damoreau, Julie Dorus-Gras and Cornelie Falcon, who performed leading parts in operas by Rossini and Meyerbeer, is characterized. Having been taught by Ital­ian vocal teachers, they introduced into the «grand» opera Italian bel canto with its coloratura brilliancy, which was successfully combined with expressive decla­mation of the French singing style.