“Hello” Dame Nellie Melba – Born 19 May 1861

Dame Nellie Melba GBE (19 May 1861 – 23 February 1931), born Helen “Nellie” Porter Mitchell, was an Australian operatic soprano. She became one of the most famous singers of the late Victorian Era and  was the first Australian to achieve international recognition as a classical musician.

Melba studied singing in Melbourne and after a brief marriage, she moved to Europe in search of a singing career. She had limited success in London in 1886,so moved to Paris where success followed. She returned to London and established herself as the leading lyric soprano at Covent Garden from 1888. She soon achieved further success in Paris and elsewhere in Europe, and later at the Metropolitan Opera, New York, debuting there in 1893.

During the First World War, Melba raised large sums for war charities. She later returned to Australia, singing in opera and concerts, and had a house built for her near Melbourne.

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