Luigi Lablache, an Italian singer, born in Naples, Dec. 6, 1794, died there, Jan. 23, 1858. He was the son of a French merchant, and studied vocal and instrumental music in one of the conservatories of Naples. He was idle and unruly, but was compelled to finish his studies, and made his debut in 1812 at the little theatre of San Carlino as a buffo singer. In 1817 he appeared at the Scala theatre in Milan in Rossini's Cenerentola, with such success that Mer-cadante wrote for him the opera of Elisa e Claudio, and for several seasons he filled the leading basso parts in that city. In 1824 he sang for the first time before the Viennese, who in their enthusiasm caused a medal to be struck in his honor. After an absence of 12 years Lablache returned to Naples to assume the duties of royal chapelmaster and fill an engagement at the San Carlo theatre, and appeared in the works of Rossini and Bellini. In 1830 he went to Paris and London, where, in the maturity of his powers, he made his debut at the Italian opera in the character of Geronimo in Il matrimonio segreto.

Thenceforth until within a short time of his death, with the exception of the year 1834, when he returned to Naples to sing in the Elisir d'amore, he appeared chiefly in Paris and London. During the last 25 years of his life he was the leading basso of his own and perhaps of any other time. His voice, a base of the purest quality, unsurpassed in resonance, in flexibility and compass, was not less remarkable than his artistic skill in the management of it, and his dramatic versatility. Originally of an imposing and graceful presence, he became exceedingly corpulent in middle life, although this never detracted from the impressiveness of his performance in serious parts. He was at one time singing master of the queen of England. His only daughter was married to Thalberg.