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Emma Calvé
(August 15, 1858 - January 6, 1942) France

Emma Calvé

Opera singer


Emma CalvéBorn Rosa Noémie Emma Calvet de Roquer, in Decazeville, Aveyron. Her father, Justin Calvet, was a civil engineer.

She spent her childhood at first in Spain with her parents, then in diverse convent schools, between Roquefort and Tournemire (Aveyron). After her parents separated, she moved with her mother to Paris. There she attempted to enter the Paris Conservatory, while she studied the art of singing under Jules Puget.

After her debut at the Brussels La Monnaie, she took lessons from Mme Mathilde Marchesi, the German mezzo-soprano and others. She made a tour of Italy, where she saw Eleonora Duse, whose impersonations made a deep impression on the young singer. She trained herself by long observation of the performances of the Italian tragic actress.

She sang in the principal opera houses of Europe and between 1893 and 1904 sang often at the Metropolitan Opera, New York City, where her portrayal of Carmen (see picture above) was especially acclaimed.

Calvé died at Montpellier, Hérault, and is buried in Millau.


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