Melodies and Memories

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Author: Nellie Melba; John Cargher

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Dame Nellie Melba (1861-1931) was one of the most famous sopranos of her time. Born in Australia, Melba began her training in Melbourne but moved to Europe in 1882 to start her career. She found success in Brussels as Gilda in Verdi's Rigoletto and was soon well known throughout the continent's opera houses. She debuted at the Metropolitan Opera in New York in 1893. Her repertoire extended over twenty-five roles, and she was regarded as unmatched in ten of these, continuing to perform throughout her life, in concert recitals as well as in opera, to great acclaim, and becoming one of the earliest modern 'celebrities'. In this autobiography, published in 1925, Melba describes her childhood and her journey from the 'great Australian Bush' to the bright lights of the European and American stage, while also giving a colourful, first-hand account of the world of opera.
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