Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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MALIBRAN, Maria Felicia, vocalist, born in Paris, 24 March, 1808 ; died in Manchester, England, 23 September, 1886. She was the eldest daughter of Manuel Garcia (q. v.), and was musically educated by her father. She appeared early at several concerts, and in 1825 performed in London with the Italian opera company. In the autumn of 1825 she came to the United States with the troupe that had been organized by Garcia, and here, at his instigation and against her wishes, she married a French merchant, Eugene Nalibran, on 23 March, 1826. Her husband was apparently opulent, but within a year after the marriage failed disgracefully in business, and was incarcerated. This unhappy development led to their separation. In the autumn of 1826 the wife returned to Europe and in the spring of the following year made her appearance in Paris, with remarkable success. She ever afterward maintained a high rank among the vocalists of her time. In 1836 she was legally divorced, by French law, from Nalibran, and soon afterward married Charles Auguste de Beriot. Madame Malibran spoke five languages with almost equal fluency, and was an accomplished pianist. She also composed several ballads and romances, some of which have been published and are still occasionally sung. Her forte was dramatic song, in which she often improvised "tours de force" with wonderful effect. Her voice, a mezzo-soprano of uncommon compass, was somewhat weak in its middle register. Originality, dramatic intensity, and personal magnetism aided in her success. Halleck paid poetical tributes to her.
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