Woman of the Century/Sybil Sanderson
SANDERSON, Miss Sybil, opera singer, born in Sacramento, Cal. , in 1865. She is the oldest daughter of the kite Judge S. W. Sanderson, chief-justice of the supreme court of California. She passed her youth in Sacramento. In childhood she was fond of music, and at the age of eight years she was engaged in composing music, which she scrawled in childish characters. The strength and beauty of her voice became early apparent, and her parents gave her a careful and thorough education in music. She desired to train for an operatic career. In 1884 she went with her mother to Europe. She studied for a year in the Paris Conservatoire, and then returned, in 1885, to Sacramento. In that year the whole family, with the exception of the father, went to Paris, where they remained until June, 1886, when they were called to return to California. Miss Sanderson went to Paris the third time and renewed her studies with Massenet, who predicted a brilliant career for her. She made her debut as Manon, in the opera of that name, in Amsterdam, 6th February, 18S8. Massenet selected her to create the role of Esclarmonde, and in the first year she sang that opera one-hundred times to crowded houses. On 8th November, 1890, she made her debut in Massenet's "Mignon" in Brussels. In 1891 she appeared in London, Kng. Her success on the continent was more marked than in England, as the continental critics are better judges of music and voices than the English critics. Miss Sanderson has a pure soprano voice, reaching from E flat to G in alto. The lower tones are not remarkable for either strength or quality, but in the middle and upper registers her notes are phenomenally clear, musical and full in volume. Her debut in Paris was made on 16th May, 1889, when she astonished the music lovers and critics with her rendition of the florid music in "Esclarmonde." which was written for her by Massenet. She ranks with the greatest singers of the age.