Emma Albani

Opera Soprano
Born Nov 1, 1847

Dame Emma Albani, DBE was a leading soprano of the 19th century and early 20th century, and the first Canadian singer to become an international star. Her repertoire focused on the operas of Mozart, Rossini, Donizetti, Bellini and Wagner. She performed across Europe and North America.… Read More

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1847 Birth Albani was born Marie-Louise-Emma-Cécile Lajeunesse in Chambly, Quebec, to the professional musician Joseph Lajeunesse and his wife, Mélina Mignault. Her date of birth is usually given as 1 November 1847, but other authors have placed her birth in 1848 or 1850, and Albani's memoir puts her birth in 1852. … Read More
1856 8 Years Old In 1856 after the death of her mother, she continued her education in a Montreal convent-school, run by the Dames du Sacré-Coeur where her father had obtained the position of Music Master. … Read More


1860 12 Years Old On 24 August 1860 she and Adelina Patti were soloists in the world premiere of Charles Wugk Sabatier's Cantata in Montreal which was performed in honour of the visit of the Prince of Wales.
1865 17 Years Old However, she was ultimately unable to finance a musical education in Quebec, where singing and acting were considered unsavoury careers for a woman, and her family moved to Albany, New York in 1865. … Read More


1870 22 Years Old 1 More Event
Her funds began to run low, and although her training was not yet complete she began to look for work to help support her schooling. She found a position in Messina, and her operatic debut was on 30 March 1870, in Messina, playing Amina in La sonnambula. … Read More
She was scheduled to make her London debut in the spring of 1872. … Read More
1874 26 Years Old 1 More Event
After her third season, Queen Victoria requested a private performance from Albani, who travelled to Windsor Castle in July 1874 to perform the aria "Caro nome" from Rigoletto, the folk ballad "Robin Adair", the Bach/Gounod "Ave Maria", and the popular song "Home! … Read More


1878 30 Years Old Albani married Ernest Gye on 6 August 1878.
1879 31 Years Old 1 More Event
She became pregnant, but continued to tour and perform until shortly before the birth of her son, Frederick Ernest Gye on 4 June 1879. … Read More
1880 32 Years Old 1 More Event
In January 1880, she sang in Nice, and from there she went to the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels.
1881 33 Years Old In 1881, she was invited to perform in Lohengrin, which was being given at the Berlin Royal Opera. … Read More
1882 34 Years Old In 1882, the Kaiser awarded her the title of Hofkammersängerin.
1883 35 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1883, she gave three recitals in Montreal. … Read More
1884 36 Years Old On 15 July 1884 in London she sang the role of Brunehild in Ernest Reyer's opera Sigurd and the role of Juliette in Gounod's Roméo et Juliette in the same season.


1891 43 Years Old Albani made her debut with New York's Metropolitan Opera on 20 November 1891 as Valentine in Meyerbeer's Les Huguenots, a performance which took place while the company was on tour in Chicago. … Read More
1892 44 Years Old Her final appearance with the Met was in New York on 31 March 1892, as Senta in The Flying Dutchman. … Read More
1896 48 Years Old 1 More Event
Even in Albani's final season at Covent Garden in 1896, she continued to receive strongly positive reviews.


1898 50 Years Old In 1898, she toured Australia. … Read More
1901 53 Years Old On the death of Queen Victoria in 1901, Albani travelled to London and sang the solo role at her final service. … Read More


1911 63 Years Old Albani gave her last public performance on 14 October 1911. … Read More
1930 82 Years Old She died on 3 April 1930, aged 82, at her home on Tregunter Road, Kensington and was buried with her husband at Brompton Cemetery. … Read More
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