Anna Thillon

Anna Thillon

Sophie Anne Hunt, known by the name of Anna Thillon (Calcutta or London, 1819; Torquay, 5 May 1903), was an operatic singing sensation in the United States, based in San Francisco, California and then New York, New York.[1] She performed in the former city's first professional season.[2]

She had much of her training in France where she studied with Marco Bordogni, Giovanni Tadolini and Claude Thomas Thillon, conductor of the Havre Philharmonic Society, whom she married.[3] After appearances in the provinces, she made her debut at the Paris Théâtre de la Renaissance in 1838 in the title role of Albert Grisar's Lady Melvil. In 1840 she moved to the Opéra-Comique where she created the roles of Catarina in Les diamants de la couronne (1841)[4] and Casilda in La part du diable (1843) by Daniel Auber, who had a passion for her.[5] She made her English debut in 1844 at the London Princess's Theatre, repeating the role of Catarina. She later sang at the Drury Lane creating Stella in Balfe's The Enchantress.[4] Her American career began in 1851 but she retired four years later.

After her relatively early retirement she lived in the English seaside town of Torquay (census records) and died there a widow at 84. There is no record of any children.


  1. ^ Brown, pg. 185
  2. ^ Crawford, pg. 198
  3. ^ Oxford Index.
  4. ^ a b Grove.
  5. ^ Jean Gourret (1978). Histoire de l'opéra-comique. Paris, Publications universitaires, pp. 111 and 116.
  • Brown, Thomas Allston (1903). A History of the New York Stage from the First Performance in 1732 to 1901. Dodd, Mead and Company.
  • Crawford, Richard (2001). America's Musical Life: A History. W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 0-393-04810-1.
  • Sadie, Stanley (ed) (1997).The New Grove Dictionary of Opera. Oxford University Press, IV, p. 725. ISBN 978-0-19-522186-2

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