Dictionary of London Immigrants |||

1827-1889 - Jermyn Street (Mayfair)

Operatic soprano Giacinta Toso [La Toso] was born in 1807 in Piedmont. She received her training at the Milan conservatory. She was performing in Turin when she was heard and engaged by horn-player and impresario Giovanni Puzzi. He took her to London in February 1827 where she made a significant career during the late 1820s and 1830s. After Puzzi and Toso had married, he was closely involved in shaping her repertoire. She appeared in Rossini’s Ricciardo e Zoraide and in 1827 she played the role of Queen Mary Stuart in the opera Maria Stuarda by the Naples-born composer Carlo Coccia which was performed at His Majesty’s Theatre. In this performance she appeared with the legendary soprano Giuditta Pasta (for whom the opera was written) and the celebrated bass Luigi Lablache. In spite of its cast, the opera was not a success achieving only four performances. Ill health forced her to retire prematurely from the stage. After this the Puzzis became vocal professors and managers, and hosted celebrity concerts at their Piccadilly salon at no. 38 Jermyn Street. She died in London in 1889.

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