A carte-de-visite portrait of the French contralto Emilie de Méric-Lablache. She is seen here, I think, in Verdi’s Nabucco.
Her mother was Josephine de Méric, a well-known bel canto singer of the 1830s, and Emilie married into the Lablache family.
According to one source I’ve found on the internet [Clarissa Lablache of the Lablache Library]: ‘Her long career brought her to the USA with Her Majesty's Opera Company and the well known impresario Colonel Mapleson. Madame Emilie Lablache sang everywhere including the Met.’
The same source also recounts the story of how on one occasion, Madame Lablache was appearing on stage with the Italian tenor Pasquale Brignoli. He was singing blissfully beside her when, in exasperation at the end of what must have been a moist week, she hissed in a whisper that the whole theatre could hear: ‘Pleeeease don’t spit on the Worth!’
Photographed by Trinquart of Paris.
A pencilled inscription verso in a period hand identifies the sitter as ‘Lablache de Méry’ but she was identified on the album page as ‘Méric-Lablache.’
condition: The print shows some small marks in the area of the background but is otherwise in
excellent condition. The mount is crisp and clean but has been trimmed slightly along its lower edge.
|Back to list...