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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 150 pages of information about Great Singers, First Series.
character, was so fine that the hearts of the rivals melted toward each other, and they professed mutual friendship.  The London public got the benefit of this amity, for the manager of the King’s Theatre was able to produce operas in which they sang together, among them being “Semiramide,” “Don Giovanni,” “Nozze di Figaro,” and “Romeo e Giulietta”—­Malibran playing the hero in the latter opera.  The following year Sontag also sang with Malibran in London, her greatest success being in Carolina, the principal character of Cimarosa’s “Il Matrimonio Segreto.”

Mile.  Sontag was now for the first time assailed by the voice of calumny.  Her union with Count Rossi, consummated more than a year before, had been kept secret on account of the dislike of his family to the match.  Born in Corsica, Count Rossi was a near relative of the family of Napoleon Bonaparte, and his sister was the Princess de Salm.  His relations were opposed to his marriage with one whom they considered a plebeian, though she had been ennobled by the Prussian King, under the name of Von Lauenstein, with a full patent and all the formalities observed on such occasions.  Mile.  Sontag determined to make a farewell tour through Europe, and retire from the stage.  She paid her adieux to her public in the different great cities of Europe—­London, Paris, Berlin, St. Petersburg, Moscow, Warsaw, Leipsic, etc.—­with incredible success, and the sums she realized are said to have been enormous.  On returning from Russia she gave a concert at Hamburg; and it was here that she took the occasion at a great banquet given her by a wealthy merchant to make the public and formal announcement of her marriage to Count Rossi.  It was remarked that during this farewell concert tour her powers, far from having declined, seemed to have gained in compass, brilliancy, and expression.

Countess Rossi first lived at the Hague, and then for a short time at Frankfort.  Here she took precedence of all the ladies of the diplomatic corps, her husband being Minister Plenipotentiary to the Germanic Diet.  In Berlin she was a familiar guest of the royal family, and sang duets and trios with the princes and princesses.  She devoted her leisure hours to the study of composition, and at the houses of Prince Esterhazy and Prince Metternich, in 1841, at Vienna, she executed a cantata of her own for soprano and chorus with most brilliant success.  The Empress herself invited the Countess to repeat it at her own palace with all the imperial family for listeners.  Thus courted and flattered, possessed of ample wealth and rank, idolized by her friends and respected by the great world, Henrietta Sontag passed nearly twenty swift, happy years at the different European capitals to which her husband was successively accredited.

III.

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