|Two carte-de-visite portraits of the actress and singer Mlle. Marie Cico (1843-1875), seen here in costumes she wore in Daniel Auber’s La Fiancée du Roi de Garbe, which had its première at the Théâtre du Opéra-Comique on 11 January 1864. Mlle Cico played Alaciel, the princess betrothed to the King of Garba in a story based on Jean de la Fontaine’s fable.
Born in Paris in 1843, she made her début at the Palais-Royal, where she was noticed by Jacques Offenbach, who took her into his company. At the Bouffes-Parisiens she created the roles of Minerve in Orphée aux enfers (1858), Lahire and Clé-de-Sol in Geneviève de Brabant (1859) and Calisto in Daphnis et Chloé (1860).
After winning prizes at the Paris Conservatoire, she made her debut at the Opéra-Comique on 30 September 1861 in Les mousquetaires de la reine. Cico then created the title role in Lalla-Roukh by Félicien David (1862). She also sang in Le voyage en Chine (1865), Robinson Crusoé (1867), La penitent (1868) and Vert-Vert (1869). In 1874 Cico was engaged at the Théâtre de la Gaîté in preparation for a revival of Orphée aux enfers.
At the Opéra-Comique she also sang in Zampa in 1863 and Le domino noir in 1864. Cico took part in the new production of Le Pré aux clercs in 1865 (Isabelle), and in the 1000th performance of the piece on 7 December 1871. She sang in the premiere of Fra Diavolo (Pamela) on 10 March 1870 and on 24 February 1872 took part as Suzanne in the Opéra-Comique premiere of The Marriage of Figaro.
One portrait is by Numa Blanc of Paris. The photographer of the other portrait is unidentified.
condition: The print of the Numa Blanc portrait presents a small amount of spotting in the area of the background but is otherwise in excellent condition. Its mount is crisp and clean but has been trimmed along its lower edge. The other print presents a few small imperfections in the area of the background and one small black fleck in the area of the sitter’s upper lip but is otherwise in excellent condition, with good tonal range. The second mount presents a couple of small marks recto in the lower margin but is otherwise clean and firm, with crisp edges and sharp corners.
price: £90 the pair
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