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Today’s Memory – Nellie Melba

”The first rule in opera is the first rule in life: see to everything yourself”

Nellie Melba

May 19, 1861, Richmond, Victoria – February 23, 1931


Dame Nellie Melba (born Helen Porter Mitchell) was an Australian operatic soprano. She became one of the most famous singers of the late Victorian Era and the early 20th century. She was the first Australian to achieve international recognition as a classical musician.

Verdi – Rigoletto Caro nome, 1904

Melba studied singing in Melbourne and Paris. In London she established herself as the leading lyric soprano at Covent Garden from 1888. She achieved further success in Paris and elsewhere in Europe, and later at the Metropolitan Opera, New York.

Mozart – The Marriage of Figaro Porgi, amor (1904)

During the First World War, Melba raised large sums for war charities. She returned to Australia frequently, singing in opera and concerts and was active in the teaching of singing at the Melbourne Conservatorium.

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Farewell Performance Royal Opera House, London, 1926


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