Historic Elmwood Cemetery & Foundation

Historic Elmwood Cemetery & Foundation

Where Detroit's History Endures
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Mme. Jenny Constentin Centemeri

Born in Milan, Italy in 1820, Jenny Constentin Centemeri began her musical training at an early age. Jenny became the favorite pupil of the composer, Rossini. Her training in Italian music schools gained her dramatic soprano voice and operatic ability considerable acclaim. She toured the Italian Opera circuit for four years before coming to the United States in 1850.

Mme. Centemeri and her husband, baritone Pietro Centemeri, arrived in Detroit in 1850. They moved into a suite of rooms at the Russell House. Pietro died in New York while on a concert tour. Mme. continued to live at the Russell House for the next 41 years. She opened a music studio in the hotel and conducted classes there up until a week before her death.

Jenny was always acutely aware of the artistic events of the day and was actively involved with her art. She always dressed in the elaborate style of the 1860’s. “She could never be induced to discard her crinolines, even though others were clad in long and clinging garments. The quaintness of the arrangement of her hair, her foreign manner and impulsive gestures made her a fascinating study to her younger pupils by whom she was greatly loved.”

Mme. Centemeri died of heart failure on June 2, 1895 and was buried next to her mother-in-law on June 4, 1895.

Born: 1820
Died: June 2, 1895
Buried: Lot 17, Section N