Operatic contralto Sofia Scalchi was born on 29 November 1850 in Turin. She studied singing with Augusta Boccabadati and made her stage debut in Mantua in 1866. Her first major international success came in November 1868 at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in Verdi’s Il trovatore. She appeared with the Covent Garden Company thereafter until 1890. At that time, she lived in Finchley Road, Hampstead. Scalchi made history when she sang in the newly constructed New York Metropolitan Opera’s first ever staged work, Charles Gounod’s Faust, which inaugurated the theatre on 22 October 1883. Her singing was highly appreciated in America. Scalchi retired from the Met in 1896 and formed her own private company of singers a year later, which then undertook a final American tour. She never made gramophone records. In 1875/6 she wed Count Luigi Alberto Lolli, thus becoming the Countess Lolli. Having retired in 1896 she returned to Italy, She died in Rome in August 1922.
Tags: Sculpture, Italy, place: Rome