Singer Luigi Lablache was born at Naples on 6 December 1795. In 1806 he entered the Conservatorio della Pietà dei Turchini and in 1812 he was engaged at the Teatro San Carlino, home of popular comic opera. He won a reputation as a bass-baritone with the ability to sing both traditional comic parts and the new virtuoso roles of Romantic opera. At Beethoven’s funeral in 1827 he was one of thirty-two torchbearers and sang in Mozart’s Requiem (which he also sang at Chopin’s burial in 1849). He performed Lacrosima at Bellini’s funeral in 1835. Between 1829 and 1855 Lablache divided his career between the Italian opera houses in London and Paris. His first London performance took place on 30 March 1830 at the King’s Theatre, Haymarket, in the part of Geronimo in Il matrimonio segreto by Domenico Cimarosa. His appearance in 1835 as one of the ‘Puritani quartet’ (with Giulia Grisi, Giovanni Battista Rubini, and Antonio Tamburini) in Bellini’s I puritani created a sensation. He taught singing to Princess (later Queen) Victoria. These lessons in which Prince Albert, a baritone, sometimes took part, continued every summer for twenty years, until Lablache began to suffer from ill health in 1857. He died in Naples in January 1858.