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Giulia Grisi (May 22, 1811 – November 29, 1869) was an Italianmarker opera singer.

Born in Milanmarker, she was the daughter of one of Napoleon Bonaparte's Italian officers. She came from a musically gifted family, her maternal aunt Giuseppina Grassini (1773–1850) being a favourite opera-singer both on the continent and in Londonmarker; her mother had also been a singer, and her elder sister, Giuditta and her cousin Carlotta were both exceedingly talented, the former as a singer as well (she was the creator of Romeo 's role in Bellini's I Capuleti e i Montecchi), the latter as a dancer.

Giulia was trained to a musical career, and made her stage debut as Emma in Rossini's Zelmira in Bolognamarker in 1828. Rossini and Bellini both took an interest in her, and at Milan she was the first to play the part of Adalgisa in Bellini's Norma, in which Giuditta Pasta took the title role. Grisi appeared in Parismarker in 1832, as Semiramide in Rossini's opera, and had a great success; and in 1834 she appeared in London, making her debut as Ninetta in La gazza ladra. In 1842, Donizetti wrote the parts of Norina and Ernesto in Don Pasquale for Grisi and Giovanni Matteo De Candia, usually known by his stage-name of Mario, who was to become the love of her life.

Her voice was a brilliant dramatic soprano, and her established position as a prima donna continued for thirty years. She was a particularly fine actress, and in London opera she had association with such singers as Luigi Lablache, Giovanni Rubini, Antonio Tamburini and Mario.

In 1854 she toured with Mario in Americamarker. She had married Count Gérard de Melcy in 1836, but he refused her a divorce. Finally, in London, Giulia was able to marry Mario. In private life he was don Giovanni de Candia; they had five daughters and a boy. While living with Mario, Giulia shared homes in Paris, London and spent summers at Mario's family palace in Sardinia (Palazzo de Candia, after their marriage they returned to Italy and lived at Villa Salviati in Florence a property that Mario bought in 1849. Grisi wrote in her diary of her most exciting times and famous guests from the opera world as well as the nobility such as her distant relatives from the royal houses of Greece and Russia she also hosted Mario's family and friends from the Italian and British nobility. During a trip to St. Petersburgmarker, Russia, while travelling with her family by train, she was involved in an accident, after crossing the border into Germany. She was taken to a hotel in Berlin, where under the care of Dr. Isabell, she spent her last days. She died on 29 November, 1869. Her body was then taken by her husband to Paris, where she is buried at Père la Chaise cemetery. Her tomb stands in front of Molière's, marked by a plain white stone with the inscription marquise "Giulietta de Candia".

One of her daughters with Mario, Cecilia Maria de Candia, became a recognized writer and married Lord Pearse.


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