Rumors of her approaching marriage had already begun to circulate, and it soon became known that Sophie Cruvelli was about to quit the stage. On January 5, 1856, she married Baron Vigier, a wealthy young Parisian, the son of Count Vigier, whose father had endowed the city of Paris with the immense bathing establishments on the Seine which bear his name, and who, in the time of the Citizen King, was a member of the Chamber of Deputies, and afterward a peer of France. Mme. Vigier resides with her husband in their splendid mansion at Nice, and, though she has sung on many occasions in the salons of the fashionable world and for charity, she has been steadfast in her retirement from professional life. She has composed many songs, and even some piano-forte works, though her compositions are as unique and defiant of rules as was her eccentric life.
Sophie Cruvelli was only eight years on the operatic stage, but during that period she impressed herself on the world as one of the great singers not only of her own age, but of any age; yet far greater in her possibilities than in her attainment. She had by no means reached the zenith of her professional ability when she suddenly retired into private life. There have been many singers who have filled a more active and varied place in the operatic world; never one who was more munificently endowed with the diverse gifts which enter into the highest power for lyric drama. She had queenly beauty of face and form, the most vehement dramatic passion, a voice alike powerful, sweet, and flexible, and an energy of temperament which scorned difficulties. Had her operatic career extended itself to the time, surely foreshadowed in her last performances, when a finer art should have subdued her grand gifts into that symmetry and correlation so essential to the best attainment, it can hardly be questioned that her name would not have been surpassed, perhaps not equaled, in lyric annals. A star of the first magnitude was quenched when the passion of love subdued her professional ambition. Sophie Cruvelli, though her artistic life was far briefer than those of other great singers, has been deemed worthy of a place among these sketches, as an example of what may be called the supreme endowment of nature in the gifts of dramatic song.
Born at Hamburg of an Hungarian Family.—Her Early Musical Training.—First Appearance in Opera in “Lucrezia Borgia.”—Romance of her Youth.—Rapid Extension of her Fame.—Receives a Conge from Vienna to sing in England.—Description of Mlle. Titiens, her Voice, and Artistic Style.—The Characters in which she was specially eminent.—Opinions of the Critics.—Her Relative Standing in the Operatic Profession.—Her Performances of Semiramide and Medea—Latter Years of her Career.—Her Artistic Tour in America.—Her Death, and Estimate placed on her Genius.