Christine Nilsson (Mine. Rouzaud), a Swedish vocalist, born at Hussaby, near Wexio, Aug. 3, 1843. Her father, though only a peasant, was a violinist, and had charge of the music at the village church. He taught his son Carl the violin, and Christine would pick out for herself on the instrument the tunes that she heard her brother play. Her proficiency became so great that the neighbors came to listen and admire, and finally Carl took her with him to the fairs at the neighboring market towns. At one of these her playing and singing attracted the attention of Thornerhjelm, a magistrate of Ljunby, who offered to provide for her musical education. The offer was accepted, and Mlle. Valerius, afterward baroness of Lenhu-sen, became her first instructor. She was subsequently sent to Stockholm and placed under the tuition of Franz Berwald. From Stockholm she went to Paris and studied assiduously under Wartel for three years, making her debut in October, 1864, at the Théâtre Lyrique in Verdi's Tramata. At this theatre she also appeared in Don Giovanni and in the character of Astrafiammante in Mozart's " Magic Flute." In June, 1867, she appeared in London in Traviata, singing later the part of Marguerite in Gounod's Faust. In March, 1868, she made her appearance at the Grand Ope>a in Paris as Ophelia in Ambroise Thomas's Hamlet. Later in that year, on the occasion of her second visit to England, she took part in the Handel commemorative festival at the crystal palace.
Her first appearance in America was made in September, 1870. During the ensuing winter she sang only in concerts, but in the autumn of 1871 appeared in opera, one of her chief r61es being that of Mignon in Thomas's opera of that name. In July, 1872, she was married in Westminster abbey, London, to Auguste Rouzaud, a merchant of Paris, and during the succeeding winter sang with immense success in St. Petersburg. In the autumn of 1873 she returned to the United States, and appeared in Wagner's Lohengrin during the winter of 1873-'4. The remarkable purity of her voice, its perfect evenness, its great range and flexibility, combined with her talent as an actress, have placed Nilsson among the foremost singers of her day. She is equally great in tragic as in comic opera, and her position as an oratorio singer is scarcely less distinguished than as a prima donna.