Colbran, Isabella

BORN 2 Feb 1785, Madrid - DIED 7 Oct 1845, Castenaso, Emilia-Romagna
GRAVE LOCATION Bologna, Emilia-Romagna: Cimitero monumentale della Certosa di Bologna, Via della Certosa 18 (porch of the greater field to the east, Number 6)

Isabella Colbran was the daughter of the violinist Giovanni Colbran. Her mother was Teresa Ortola. She studied under Girolamo Crescenti in Paris. By the time she was twnety years old she was well known in Europe. She relocated to Naples, where she sang from 1811 until 1822. She was the primadonna of the Teatro di San Carlo company and the mistress of Domenico Barbaia, the impresario of the theatre.

In 1815 Barbaia contracted Gioachino Rossini for seven years. Rossini created "Elisabetta, regina d'Inghilterra" for her and she performed in further works by his hand. They fell in love and in 1822 they moved to Bologna, where they married. By that time her voice was past its prime, although she created the title role for "Semiramide" after their marriage.

In 1837 Rossini started an affair with Olympe Pélissier in Paris and he separated from Isabella. Her health declined and she lived on her deceased father's estate in Castenaso near Bologna. Her gambling habits forced her to sell parts of the estate, but Rossini supported her financially. She died in 1845 and was buried beside her parents at the Cimitero monumentale della Certosa di Bologna.

• Father: Colbran, Giovanni


The tomb of Giovanni Colbran and Isabella Colbran at the Cimitero monumentale della Certosa, Bologna.
Picture by Androom (10 Feb 2017)


Isabella Colbran - Wikipedia
Isabella Colbran - Wikipedia

Colet, Hippolyte

Published: 18 Nov 2018
Last update: 25 Apr 2022