Ángela Peralta :
Ángela Peralta (b. 6 July 1845; d. 30 August 1883), Mexican operatic soprano and composer. Born in Mexico City, Peralta showed a natural gift for singing; she is supposed to have impressed the great German soprano Henrietta Sontag in 1854.
Thereafter she became a student of Agustín Balderas, who sponsored her debut at fifteen in Verdi’s Il Trovatore and then took her to Europe, where she made a notable impression. Peralta returned to Mexico during the Second Empire and became a favorite of Maximilian and Carlotta, appearing in the premiere of Melesio Morales’s Ildegonda.
Voice and Repertoire
A Mazatlán opera-lover and journalist, who watched Peralta rehearsing in the Teatro Rubio on 22 August 1883, wrote in his diary:
She is a woman with an agreeable presence, slightly obese, with bulging but very lively eyes. She has a wonderful voice that produces notes from the very highest to the lowest with astounding ease; she sang several variations with such delicate notes, like the trill of a goldfinch.
Peralta’s wide-ranging repertoire included: Leonora in Il trovatore, Violetta in La traviata; Elvira in I puritani; Marie in La fille du régiment; Amina in La sonnambula; Adina in L’elisir d’amore; and the title roles in Aida, Dinorah, Linda di Chamounix, Maria di Rohan, Lucia di Lammermoor, and Norma. She also created the leading female roles in three operas by Mexican composers: Ildegonda (1866) and Gino Corsini (1877) by Melesio Morales, and Guatimotzin (1871) by Aniceto Ortega del Villar.
Ángela Peralta’s 175th Birthday
Today’s Doodle celebrates the 175th birthday of Mexican pianist, harpist, composer, and internationally-renowned operatic soprano Ángela Peralta, who is widely considered one of the most significant Mexican opera singers of her era.
On this day in 1845, Ángela Peralta Castera was born in Mexico City. Her reputation as a remarkable singer began to take hold with her solo performance of a cavatina from the Italian opera “Belisario” at just 8 years old. At 15, Peralta made her operatic debut at the Gran Teatro Nacional—one of 19th-century Mexico’s premier opera houses. This performance received such acclaim that it prompted Peralta to further refine her talent in Italy, the birthplace of opera.
In Milan, Peralta’s 1862 performance of the romantic opera “Lucia di Lammermoor” so impressed the audience that standing ovations brought her back to the stage 23 times! The scope of her international tours broadened to include some of Europe’s most prestigious opera houses as well as the U.S., garnering the title of “Mexican Nightingale” for her mastery of the lyrical operatic style known as bel canto. Peralta returned to Mexico City in 1871, a homecoming announced by yet another grand performance at the Gran Teatro Nacional.
Soon after, Peralta utilized this successful momentum to found her own opera company. On their final tour in 1883, Peralta’s troupe traveled to the coastal Mexican city of Mazatlán. Here, her legacy is preserved in an opera house named in her honor: the Ángela Peralta Theater.
Happy birthday, Ángela Peralta. Here’s to all those performances that ended on a high note!