Kristina Nilsson sopran 1843 – 1921

Kristina Nilsson sopran Christina Nilsson - sopran

Kristina Nilsson, (även Christina och Christine), född 20 augusti 1843 i Vederslöv, död 21 november 1921 i Växjö, var en svensk operasångerska med internationell karriär. Hon blev ledamot av Kungliga Musikaliska Akademien 1869.  Christina Nilsson sjöng Marguerite i Gounods Faust i öppnings-föreställningen på Metropolitan Opera på Broadway och 39th Street 22 oktober 1883

Kristina Nilsson sopran 1843 – 1921

Kristina Nilsson föddes som Kristina Jonasdotter, det yngsta barnet av sex till lantbrukaren Jonas Nilsson och Stina-Cajsa Månsdotter, på gården Sjöabol (kallad Snugge), Vederslövs församling söder om Växjö. Redan i tidiga år vräktes familjen från Snugge och man fick flytta till Lövhult, några kilometer söderut längs landsvägen, sedan fadern kommit på obestånd. Det var ett arrendetorp under Huseby Bruk. Där fick hon bidra till familjens försörjning, till att börja med som grindvakt vid stenen “Lövhulta fåle”.

Genom sin sång sparade hon ihop till en fiol. Under några år var hon tillsammans med sin äldste bror Nils, runt på marknader och sjöng och spelade med bland annat “Blinde Janne” från Gränna. Vid denna tid kallades hon vanligen Stina på Backen.

Hennes sångtalang uppmärksammades på Ljungby marknad 1857 av en mecenat, häradshövdingen Fredrik Tornérhielm, som bekostade hennes sångutbildning i Göteborg. Det var fröken Adelaïde Valerius som blev hennes sånglärare, och inkvarteringen skedde hos grosshandlaren i viner, Rudolf Koch. Vintern 1859 konfirmerades Christina Nilsson av domprosten Peter Wieselgren i Göteborgs domkyrka.

Hennes debut i Göteborg ägde rum den 19 maj 1859, då den kända pianisten Sara Magnus gav en konsert i Pelarsalen på Frimurarlogen. Numret hon uppträdde med var en gammal tysk folkvisa och hon sjöng den tillsammans med Adelaide Leuhusen (tidigare Valerius, se ovan). Israel Sandström i Handelstidningen skrev då en recension:

Här uppträdde för första gången offentligen ett fruntimmer, m:lle Christina Nilsson, hvilkens vackra röst ådragit henne en musiklärarinnas uppmärksamhet, vård och handledning i afsigt, att af den unga, femtonåriga flickan ännu en svensk sångerska ska danas. Man har rätt att med anledning af det som nu presterades att förmoda, att denna förhoppning skall gå i fullbordan“.

Under Göteborgsvistelsen gjorde hon sig dock framför allt känd som en överlägsen skridskoåkare, där man speciellt höll till på den frusna Vallgraven nedanför Trädgårdsföreningen.

Kristina Nilsson utbildade sig 1860 för Franz Berwald i Stockholm, och återvände samma år till Särö, strax söder om Göteborg, där hon tillbringade sommaren hos sin välgörare Rudolf Koch. I september 1860 reste hon tillsammans med Adelaide Leuhusens syster Bertha, som skulle utbilda sig till fotograf, till Paris . Allt bekostat av Koch.  I Paris gjorde hon sin debut i Giuseppe Verdis opera La traviata 1864.

Hon nådde snart ryktbarhet som en av sin tids stora operasångerskor. Hon företog en rad europeiska turnéer genom åren, 1867 den första i Storbritannien, 1870–72 första USA-turnén, senare även Ryssland och Österrike, och därefter även i Tyskland, i Berlin dock först 1885. 1876, 1881 och 1885 företog hon också uppmärksammade skandinaviska turnéer.

Efter en bejublad konsert i Stockholm den 23 september 1885 hyllades Christina Nilsson av uppemot 50 000 personer. Efter att hon sjungit från Grand Hôtels balkong och folkmassan skulle lämna platsen utbröt panik varvid omkring 20 personer trampades till döds och ett sjuttiotal skadades. Se vidare Kristina Nilsson-olyckan.

Eftersom hon ville avsluta sin karriär innan hennes talang avtagit höll hon vid 45 års ålder, 1888, en avskedskonsert i Royal Albert Hall i London. Enstaka offentliga konserter hölls dock även efter detta, den sista 1893. Från 1897 var hon åter tidvis bosatt i Småland.

Khristina  var gift två gånger, 1872 med den franske bankiren Auguste Rouzaud (död 1882), och 1887 med den spanske adelsmannen don Angel Ramon Maria Vallejo y Miranda, greve Casa de Miranda (död 1902). Hon titulerades därefter grevinnan de Casa Miranda.

Vid sin död efterlämnade hon en förmögenhet på tre miljoner kronor, som till del testamenterades bort i form av donationer, bland annat 775 000 kr till Musikaliska Akademien. Hon köpte 1906 en större villa, “Villa Wik”, i Sandsbro strax utanför Växjö, att använda som bostad vid sina besök i hembygden. Hon ligger begravd i ett mausoleum på Tegnérkyrkogården i Växjö.

Metropolitan Opera

[Met Performance] CID:1000 
Metropolitan Opera Premiere
Faust {1}
Metropolitan Opera House; 10/22/1883
Opening Night {1}
Henry E. Abbey, General Manager
Debuts: Italo Campanini, Christine Nilsson, Franco Novara, Giuseppe Del Puente, Sofia Scalchi, Louise Lablache, Ludovico Contini, Auguste Vianesi, Mr. Corani, Mr. Abbiati, Charles Fox, Jr., William Schaeffer, Gaspar Maeder, Mr. Thompson, D. Ascoli, Henry Dazian
Review
[Met Performance] CID:1030 
Faust {2}
Metropolitan Opera House; 10/27/1883
Debut: Victor Capoul
Review
[Met Performance] CID:1050 
Metropolitan Opera Premiere
Mignon {1}
Metropolitan Opera House; 10/31/1883
Debut: Baldassare Corsini
Review
[Met Performance] CID:1070
Mignon {2}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/3/1883
Debut: Cleofonte Campanini
Review
[Met Performance] CID:1090 
Metropolitan Opera Premiere
Lohengrin {1}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/7/1883
Debut: Emmy Fursch-Madi
Reviews
[Met Performance] CID:1100
Faust {3}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/9/1883
Review
[Met Performance] CID:1130
Lohengrin {2}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/12/1883
Review
[Met Performance] CID:1160
Lohengrin {3}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/17/1883
Review
[Met Performance] CID:1190
Mignon {3}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/21/1883
Review
[Met Performance] CID:1210
Faust {4}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/24/1883
Review
[Met Performance] CID:1240 
Metropolitan Opera Premiere
Don Giovanni {1}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/28/1883
Review
[Met Performance] CID:1260
Lohengrin {4}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/1/1883
Review
[Met Performance] CID:1290
Metropolitan Opera Premiere
Mefistofele {1}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/5/1883
Review
[Met Performance] CID:1310
Don Giovanni {2}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/8/1883
Review
[Met Performance] CID:1330
Faust {5}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/10/1883
Review
[Met Performance] CID:1340
Don Giovanni {3}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/12/1883
Review
[Met Performance] CID:1360
Mefistofele {2}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/15/1883
Review
[Met Performance] CID:1390
United States Premiere
La Gioconda {1}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/20/1883
Reviews
[Met Performance] CID:1410
La Gioconda {2}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/22/1883
Review
[Met Performance] CID:1440
Faust {6}
Boston Theatre, Boston, Massachusetts; 12/26/1883
Review
[Met Performance] CID:1470
Mignon {4}
Boston Theatre, Boston, Massachusetts; 12/29/1883
[Met Performance] CID:1510
La Gioconda {3}
Boston Theatre, Boston, Massachusetts; 01/1/1884
[Met Performance] CID:1530
Lohengrin {5}
Boston Theatre, Boston, Massachusetts; 01/3/1884
Review
[Met Performance] CID:1550
Faust {7}
Boston Theatre, Boston, Massachusetts; 01/5/1884
Review
[Met Performance] CID:1580
Faust {8}
Academy of Music, Brooklyn, New York; 01/8/1884
Review
[Met Performance] CID:1610
La Gioconda {4}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/11/1884
[Met Performance] CID:1640
Faust {9}
Chestnut St. Opera House, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; 01/14/1884
[Met Performance] CID:1680
La Gioconda {5}
Chestnut St. Opera House, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; 01/18/1884
Review
[Met Performance] CID:1710
Faust {10}
Haverly’s Theatre, Chicago, Illinois; 01/21/1884
Review
[Met Performance] CID:1730
Lohengrin {6}
Haverly’s Theatre, Chicago, Illinois; 01/23/1884
Italo Campanini became ill during the performance and the final scene was omitted
[Met Performance] CID:1760
Faust {11}
Haverly’s Theatre, Chicago, Illinois; 01/26/1884
[Met Performance] CID:1790
La Gioconda {6}
Haverly’s Theatre, Chicago, Illinois; 01/28/1884
[Met Performance] CID:1810
Mignon {5}
Haverly’s Theatre, Chicago, Illinois; 01/30/1884
[Met Performance] CID:1850
La Gioconda {7}
Haverly’s Theatre, Chicago, Illinois; 02/2/1884
[Met Performance] CID:1870
Faust {12}
Olympic Theater, St. Louis, Missouri; 02/5/1884
[Met Performance] CID:1900
La Gioconda {8}
Olympic Theater, St. Louis, Missouri; 02/8/1884
[Met Performance] CID:1930
Faust {13}
Music Hall, Cincinnati, Ohio; 02/11/1884
[Met Performance] CID:1960
La Gioconda {9}
Music Hall, Cincinnati, Ohio; 02/14/1884
[Met Performance] CID:1980
Don Giovanni {8}
Music Hall, Cincinnati, Ohio; 02/16/1884
Review
[Met Concert/Gala] CID:1990
Gala Performance
Music Hall, Cincinnati, Ohio; 02/17/1884
[Met Performance] CID:2010
Mignon {6}
Music Hall, Cincinnati, Ohio; 02/19/1884
Review
[Met Performance] CID:2040
Mefistofele {3}
Music Hall, Cincinnati, Ohio; 02/22/1884
[Met Performance] CID:2060
Faust {14}
National Theater, Washington, D.C.; 02/25/1884
Review
[Met Performance] CID:2080
La Gioconda {10}
National Theater, Washington, D.C.; 02/27/1884
[Met Performance] CID:2120
Faust {15}
Academy of Music, Baltimore, Maryland; 03/1/1884
Review
[Met Performance] CID:2140
Mefistofele {4}
Boston Theatre, Boston, Massachusetts; 03/4/1884
[Met Performance] CID:2160
Don Giovanni {10}
Boston Theatre, Boston, Massachusetts; 03/6/1884
[Met Performance] CID:2190
La Gioconda {11}
Boston Theatre, Boston, Massachusetts; 03/8/1884
[Met Performance] CID:2210
Don Giovanni {11}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/12/1884
Review
[Met Performance] CID:2230
Faust {16}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/15/1884
Review
[Met Performance] CID:2250
Metropolitan Opera Premiere
Les Huguenots {1}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/19/1884
Debut: Miss Alberti
Reviews
[Met Performance] CID:2290
Les Huguenots {2}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/26/1884
Review
[Met Performance] CID:2310
La Gioconda {12}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/29/1884
[Met Performance] CID:2340
Lohengrin {7}
Metropolitan Opera House; 04/2/1884
Review
[Met Performance] CID:2360
Mignon {7}
Metropolitan Opera House; 04/5/1884
[Met Performance] CID:2410
Les Huguenots {3}
Academy of Music, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; 04/14/1884
Review
[Met Performance] CID:2440
Mignon {8}
Academy of Music, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; 04/17/1884
Review
[Met Performance] CID:2460
Lohengrin {8}
Academy of Music, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; 04/19/1884
Review
[Met Concert/Gala] CID:2480
Gala Performance
Metropolitan Opera House; 4/21/1884
Review

In English

Kristina Nilsson, Countess de Casa Miranda, (20 August 1843 – 20 November 1921) was a Swedish operatic soprano. She possessed a brilliant bel canto technique and was considered a rival to the Victorian era’s most famous diva, Adelina Patti. Nilsson became a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music in 1869.

Biography

 Kristina Nilsson was born Kristina Jonasdotter in the village of Sjöabol, near Växjö, Småland, to the peasants Jonas Nilsson and Cajsa-Stina Månsdotter. From her earliest years, she demonstrated vocal talent.  She taught herself to play on the violin and flute, and sang in the peasants’ fairs in Sweden with her brother. She was discovered by a prominent civil servant when, aged 14, she was performing at a market in Ljungby. He soon became her patron, enabling her to have vocal training. She was a pupil of Franz Berwald for two years.
 In 1860, she gave concerts in Stockholm and Uppsala. After four years’ study in Paris, she had her operatic début 1864 as Violetta in Giuseppe Verdi’s opera La Traviata at the Théâtre Lyrique, Paris.  After this success she sang at major opera houses in London, Saint Petersburg, Vienna and New York. She also appeared in the Metropolitan Opera’s inaugural performance on October 22, 1883 in Gounod’s Faust.

OPENING PERFORMANCE OF THE METROPOLITAN OPERA HOUSE, GOUNOD’S FAUST, OCTOBER 22, 1883.

Review of Henry Krehibel in the New York Tribune

The performance of the opera was on the average plan of performances of the same work not better as a whole nor worse as a whole. The fears that had been generally felt that Signor Campanini would not show a complete amendment of the faults which were so conspicuous during his last season at the Academy of Music were unfortunately realized. Occasionally the old-time sweetness and again occasionally the old-time manly ring were apparent in his notes but they were always weighted down by the evidence of labor, and the brilliancy of the upper tones with which he used to fire an audience into uncontrollable enthusiasm, was gone. The rest of a year which he has taken has not repaired the ravages of the last five years, Such a result is peculiarly unfortunate in Gounod’s music.

The third act speaks the every ecstasy of passion, given the voice, and no music ougtht to be sung easier. Its sentiments crowd forward eagerly for utterance, and every phrase is impassioned eloquence. One could think that the singers would only need to open their mouths and the entrancicng sounds from the orchestra would lure the melodies out. When, instead of such spontaneity the music is given with indication of hard work, the life is gone out of it at once. This weight rested on much of the love music last night, and whenever it did the spirit took flight and the melodies and harmonies were of the earth earthy.

Of Mme. Nilsson’s Margherita there is little to be said that has not been said over and over again. For the transformation which the poetical character has undergone, not she, but the authors of the opera are responsible…All that Mme. Nilsson sings, as all that she does, is so imbued with a current of sympathy that there is no resisting her whether she be reproducing the ideal of the author or giving instead her own conception of the character. We would not that Goethe’s sweet child should do as Nilsson does, but we would not that Nilsson should do otherwise. Yet the verities of art are not violated, for opera is such an incongruous and irrational art form that it makes and shirfts its standard with every new production.

Mme. Nilsson’s triumph came in the jewel song, where it was expected, for it is the golden link with which last year she established the connection between her concert room and the memorable night at the Academy where she first sang her way to the hearts of the people. After she had sung it last night the last film of ice that had held the public in decorous check was melted, and an avalanche of plaudits overwhelmed the fair singer.

Bouquets rained from the boxes and baskets of flowers were piled over the footlights till it seemed as if there was to be no end…Signor Campanini was also remembered in profuse flowers and other marks of kind appreciation; and Mme. Scalchi, who did the most artistic singing of the evening, was not forgotten though her guerdons were not commensurate with her merits. For Mme. Louise Lablache, who took the place of the mother who was under the ban of the law, and did her work cleverly, and for Signors Del Puente and Novara, we have time only to chronicle a performance of work of the high degree of merit to which they in part have accustomed us.

Of the mechanical parts of the performance nothing is to be said except words of praise. The pictures were beautiful, all of them. Nothing was shirked, and the highest skill and ingenuity seemed combined in constructing scenes of fascinating beauty and almost perfect illusion.

Christina Nilsson was married in Westminster Abbey to the French banker Auguste Rouzaud, who later died in 1882. In 1887 she married Angel Ramon Maria Vallejo y Miranda, Count de Casa Miranda, who died in 1902. In correspondence, Nilsson often signed her first name as Christine, and during the last part of her life she was generally known as the Countess de Casa Miranda.

She died in Vaxjö, Sweden in 1921. Unfortunately, unlike Patti, she never made gramophone recordings of her voice.

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