July 18, 1821
May 18, 1910 in Paris
Also Known As:
Her full name was Michelle Ferdinande Pauline Viardot - Garcia; a highly regarded mezzo-soprano who greatly influenced opera. She can also sing in contralto and soprano voices. She comes from a musically-inclined family; her father, Manuel Garcia, was a teacher and singer; her sister, Maria Malibran, was a soprano and her brother, Manuel García II. Viardot, was a voice teacher. She later focused on composing and teaching. She married theatre director Louis Viardot.
Type of Compositions:
Her mother; who taught her singing, was one of her influences. She was a piano student of Franz Liszt and studied composition under Anton Reicha.
As an operatic singer, she sang the parts of Desdemona (from Otello by Gioacchino Rossini), Fidès (from Le Prophète by Giacomo Meyerbeer), Rachel (from La Juive by Fromental Halévy), the title role in Louis Hector Berlioz' Orfeo ed Eurydice and the title role in Sapho by Charles Gounod. One of her operettas is Le Dernier Sorcier; the libretto of which was written by Ivan Turgenev.
In 1837, Viardot made her concert debut in Belgium at the age of 16. In 1839, she made her operatic debut in London, singing the part of Desdemona in Otello by Gioacchino Rossini. Prominent composers such as Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms composed pieces for her.
Listen to music samples of Pauline Viardot's songs.