The girl by name of Christmas

Who such Lina Cavalieri? Hundred years ago this name rattled across all Europe, and also in Russia. The Italian opera singer received stunning popularity not only for singing, but also for appearance, having passed for the most beautiful woman in the world.Lina Cavalieri (1874-1944) call by the very first photomodel in the world. If on her talent of criticism argue, Lina’s beauty is recognized as all.


Natalina from Viterbo

It is said that children who were born during holidays, the unusual destiny waits. On Christmas eve on December 25, 1874 in Cavalieri’s family there was small, very pretty girl. There was this event in the city of Viterbo located in vicinities of Rome. The child named Natalina – in Italian Natale designates Christmas.

The baby grew up and became more and more attractive. Besides external beauty God or destiny awarded it unusual kindness and musical talent. The girl sang from morning to the night plain songs which touched to depth of soul of casual witnesses of its singing.

The new neighbor, the teacher of music became one of such involuntary audience. He suggested the girl to be engaged seriously in singing, and Natalina agreed with pleasure – she already dreamed to shine long ago on a scene. Some lessons showed to the teacher that the girl possesses doubtless talent, and it recommended it as the singer to the familiar owner of small small restaurant.

Having listened to Cavalieri, that with delight offers it engagement. Natalina agrees with pleasure – now she can do favorite thing.

Fourteen-year Natalina entered every evening into a noisy hall of restaurant, and the struck public right there became silent. The singer didn’t manage to begin yet a song, and the audience was already subdued by the girl of unusual beauty. And after performance of the song the roar of applause deafened the young singer …

Triumphal procession

The glory of the beauty singer at lightning speed extends around the city. Soon owners of the most magnificent and prestigious restaurants fight for that Cavalieri sang at them. The size of its fees everything increases, and Natalina already presumes to conduct to itself life of the spoiled star. But she continues to study vocal lessons, visits dancing-masters. The girl had now a new dream – she aspires to become an opera star.

Cavalieri’s any time acts in Naples – for the present as the kafeshantanny singer. But soon diligence of her singing-master of Marianna Mazi bear fruit – that managed to train a voice to Natalina Cavalieri, and the girl can quite act now on a professional scene. Lina Cavalieri on an opera scene of Madrid debuted, then other European capitals followed.

And everywhere – a tremendous success, crowds of the admirers, a clapping and repeating hall … The world covers madness according to Lina Cavalieri – her name at all on lips.

Anastas Tsvetaeva so told in the memoirs about Cavalieri: «Music! Bows, strings, enchanting type of an orchestra. Suddenly something becomes at the end of a hall, flashes general excitement, runs the constrained – but unless will constrain? – in a whisper, and eyes of all direct to doors. Perhaps, rise all? The precious name, donosimy, rustles on lips of Italians and foreigners. A name belonging to Beauty, with anything not compared, because it – First-ever!

La signora Lina Cavalieri!. It entered into a hall, surrounded with suite, and I remember a fine-molded profile of the stately and fine woman, the well-known actress. Something pearl. Dark-haired. Dark-eyed. And from the stretched hand of the revived statue – the current foam of laces».

Cavalieri’s supernal loveliness strikes to such an extent that on her background any women grow dim. And she realized it: «I felt more beautiful than other women, more than others, irresistible
charming woman, unapproachable siren. On balls I was a queen, I was that which devoured with greedy views» …

In the 1890th years Lina went to submit Russia. Both Petersburg and Moscow clapped to the prima donna, the public simply went mad. Celebrities also paid tribute to the singer.

Leonid Sobinov so responded about Cavalieri:

«Now there ascends a star … everything in it so touchingly purely, is so infinitely fresh. It is a wonderful flower, it is a gentle orchid smelling sweet in the spring, and it is necessary to look after her, it is necessary to care for it. You, possibly, already doubt in we wash impartiality, all know that Cavalieri is very beautiful. Let so, but its beauty in her talent only a superfluous stroke. How many mind in all its scenic movements, how many musicality and at the same time temperament in its phrases! What wonderful mimicry at it. Charming, though not striking voice any by a fenomenalnost which is giving in easily to a coloratura, crystal “piano”, surprising in recitatives the chest register. Long live this wonderful flower also blossoms!!!»

First model

On Lina’s wide popularity huge money overworked. Cards with the image of the young beauty were on sale by million circulations. The image of the high brunette with huge eyes and long eyelashes became an era symbol – he could be seen everywhere.

Ilya Shneydep in the book «Papers old Muscovite» described general hysteria according to Cavalieri: «If what you bought boxes candy in confectionery Abrikosov, that, in addition to the mandatory application to its content in the form of a piece of candied pineapple and bar of chocolate «minion», wrapped in silver foil, was lying in a box esch small plump chocolate bar in a wrapper from gold paper backed with her miniature photography Chaliapin or Lina Cavalieri.

In any tobacco shop, which had, as a rule, and stationery products, you can find products with the image of “the first beauty of the world” – Italian Lina of Cavalieri, filmed in various poses. There were cards and other krasavu: Cleo de Merode French, Spanish dancer Gvepepo, Cavalieri Lina’s namesakes – Cavalieri and cabaret singer Maria Otero.

But not anybody from – them not was so popular, how Lina of Cavalieri. The name her in Russia wos be so known, how sewing Singer’s cars, Filippov’s bakeries, as dental an elixir of “Odol” or dairy Store Chichkina …»

It is interesting that Cavalieri laid down rigid conditions to photographers – she will act in film only in strict dresses not to compromise herself in the opinion of the future groom who by all means will appear in her life!

The injured heart

And soon such groom really appeared – the Russian nobleman, the successor of millions Alexander Baryatinsky. The mad love struck both, and secret wedding soon took place – the family appeared shocked by similar misalliance and in every possible way protected the prince from the singer.

Lina was crazy about the husband, was going to leave a scene and to devote itself only to it. But soon this union was destroyed. Nikolay II at a request of a family of the prince cancelled marriage of the Italian of humble origin and the Russian nobleman, and the Tench persistently recommended to leave Russia.

Lina went to Italy and continued the opera activity. Her heart was broken off from love and sufferings, but the world didn’t see its tears – Cavalieri was as is fine and talented. Moreover, her sufferings enriched executed arias with new paints, and the auditorium simply sobbed, listening to a voice of the divine beauty.

Lina submitted all new theaters, sang together with the most known opera celebrities – Caruso, Sobinov, Shalyapin. Later any time it started to go again with tours to Russia where the prince Baryatinsky, by then become already the husband of the daughter of Alexander II suffered from love …

Most likely, them intimacy as only after death of the prince in 1910 Lina Cavalieri accepted the hand and heart offer from the American millionaire Robert Chendler, long ago ready to shower still connected the singer money and jewelry.

Soon Cavalieri forever left a scene, wrote memoirs and the book which has instantly become the best-seller, – «Lina Cavalieri’s Manuals». In it it opened secrets of the beauty and told about how it is possible to keep youth and appeal for a long time.

About Lina’s biography after it уходы from a scene it is known very little – it covered all doors in the life. On hearings, after Chendler’s death, having become very rich widow, she several times married and got divorced.

Lina Cavalieri was lost during the Second World War. In August, 1944 its country house about Florence underwent bombing.

Cavalieri died, but her photos remained. And even in the XXI century the image of the most beautiful woman continues to inspire artists, poets, writers. This woman remains a symbol of the era which has left from us forever …

This miracle, but records of the singer, and even today, a century later remained, it is possible to listen to Lina Cavalieri