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Benedetta Rosmunda Pisaroni, Teatro Municipale Piacenza

Benedetta Maria Rosmunda, stage-name Benedetta Pisaroni, was a famous opera singer, well known for her  Rossini‘s interpretations.

Life and Career

Her career could be divided in two periods: the first one where she was singing as soprano and the second one where she was singing as a contralto, through which she got more success. During her 20 years of career, in which 16 of them she was actually a contralto, Benedetta became one of the best interpreneur of Rossini’s Opera. She was the direct successor of the Castrato’s school; her  wonderful capacity gave her the skills to reach a wide voice range, from the lowest notes of the contralto to the highest of the soprano. Her perfect controll of the singing thecnique was  absolutely complete.

Benedetta Pisaroni was born in Piacenza on the 16th May 1793, she was a bit chubby body tipe, but since she was a child she learned how to singing in her hometown and after some years, she moved to Milan where she specialised with Moschini. Before she studied with four Castrati who influenced her a lot. They teached her their thecniques and style for exemple the difference between the lower notes and the nasal acutes.

Some others male singers followed these thecniques like Luigi Marchesi, Gaspare Pacchierotti and Giovanni Battista Velluti.

Alongside to Velluti, Benedetta was present at the start of Carlo Magno by Nicolini which took place in Piacenza on the 6th of February 1813. This specific success helped her to get in touch with her future husband Venanzio Maloberti, famous composer from her hometown too; the couple got married in June 1813.

Her commitments as the ” first lady soprano” brought her to Genova, where Gioacchino Rossini, listening her voice in the interpretation of Tancredi ( January 1814) suggested to Benedetta to change to contralto. Her new opening with Ciro in Babilonia took place in Padova in June 1814.The interpretation of Benedetta to this opera established herself immediately as Rossini’s contralto reference, especially in the en travesti roles.

Her husband started to follow her to help with her career, but in Bologna, when he reached her, he got hill and he died in March 1815. The youg widow canceled all her duties until the next carnival season, but during the springtime in 1816 she had to stop for many months: she got a serious vaiolo infection, which ruined her body and her face.

From that moment on , Benedetta was able to rely only on her voice. When It was possible, she preferred to enter the stage wearing a full mask or from the back, because she dind’t want to show her face to the public, using only her wonderful voice to conquer the stage. Only after she was feeling confident she was able to show her entire body.

Her less good looks didn’t stop her to find another housband; immediatly after the disease, she got married in Bergamo with Giuseppe Santi Carrara from Padova in October 1817. He was an awsome, brilliant and broke musician, he was the first flute at the Fenice Theater in Venice.

Later on before Benedetta turned 40, she decided to retire from the stage and settle down in Piacenza with her housband without any children. Unfortunatly she became again widow in June 1842. Benedetta died on the 6th August 1872 in her Villa in Colonese, a tiny village close to Rivergaro, in the countryside of Piacenza. A marble bust is still adorning her grave in the cimitary of her hometown.

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