B1300. (COUNT GIOVANNI MATTEO DE CANDIA) (MARIO) MRS. GODFREY PEARSE & FRANK HIRD. The Romance of a Great Singer – A Memoir of Mario. London, Smith-Elder, 1910. 309pp. Index; Photos; Illus. Presentation copy. Excellent contents; lower covers are edgeworn.
“Giovanni Matteo De Candia, also known as Mario was an Italian opera singer. The most celebrated tenor of his era (18 October, 1810 – 11 December, 1883), he was lionized by audiences in Paris and London. Because he possessed an exceptionally fine natural voice, Mario was encouraged by the composer Giacomo Meyerbeer to become a singer. He was swiftly offered an engagement with the Opéra. The young tenor made his début there on 30 November 1838 as the hero of Meyerbeer's ROBERT LE DIABLE. Meyerbeer had provided a new recitative and aria for him in the second act (the ‘Mario-Aria), which generated great excitement, and ‘a new star was born’. Despite scoring an immediate success, owing to the splendid quality of his singing and a dashing stage presence, he did not choose to stay long at the Paris Opéra. In 1839 he joined the Théâtre Italien, where such illustrious singers as Maria Malibran, Henriette Sontag, Fanny Tacchinardi Persiani, Giulia Grisi, Giovanni Battista Rubini, Antonio Tamburini, and Luigi Lablache regularly performed. His first appearance there was as Nemorino in Donizetti's L'ELISIR D'AMORE. In the same year he was first heard in London, achieving instant success.”
- Z. D. Akron