Chronology | 1880 to 1899

1880

David Mitchell built the Exhibition Building in Melbourne.
(Vestey, David Mitchell p13.)

1881

October 21
Death of Isabella Ann Mitchell, wife of David Mitchell. (Vestey, David Mitchell p23.)

1882

January 20
Death of Florence Maud Vere Mitchell, youngest child of David and Isabella Mitchell. (Vestey, David Mitchell p 23.)

December 22
Helen Porter Mitchell married Charles Nesbitt Frederick Armstrong at Brisbane. (Vestey, Melba p21.)

1883

October 16
Nellie and Charles’ only child George Nesbitt Armstrong was born. (Thompson/ McPherson, Melba Important Dates p3.)

1884

January 19
Nellie and baby George left Marian and returned to Melbourne (Thompson/ McPherson, Melba Important Dates p3.)

May 17
As Mrs Armstrong, Nellie made her professional debut as a concert artist in the Melbourne Town Hall in the Elsasser concert given by the Metropolitan Liedertafel. (Thompson/ McPherson, Melba Important Dates p4 and Melba’s red scrapbook.)

July 22

Mrs Armstrong performed at the Metropolitan Liedertafel concert in Melbourne. (Melba’s red scrapbook.)

December 18

Mrs Armstrong performed at the Hamilton Town Hall, Victoria in a concert organised by Chevalier Eduardo Fittipaldi on race night. (Hamilton Spectator December 20, 1884.)

1885

January 24
Nellie sang at the Grand Concert held in the Mechanics’ Institute, Sorrento, to raise funds for the cemetery fence. Raised £20.
(Concert program, Nepean Historical Society.)

February 13

Mrs Armstrong sang at the Ballarat Academy of Music in a Chevalier Eduardo Fittipaldi concert. (Ballarat Star February 14, 1885.)

June-July
Nellie was paid £20 a week for a season with Johann Kruse.
(Thompson/ McPherson, Melba Important Dates p4.)

August
Mrs Armstrong sang at a soiree at Allan’s to advertise a new piano. (Thompson/ McPherson, Melba Important Dates p4.)

December
Nellie accepted her first paid position as the soprano soloist at St Francis’ Roman Catholic Church, Lonsdale St, Melbourne.
(Thompson/ McPherson, Melba Important Dates p4.)

1886

David Mitchell was appointed Commissioner for Australia to the Indian and Colonial Exhibition in London. (Vestey, David Mitchell p17).

January 22
Mrs Armstrong’s first farewell concert held at the Sydney Masonic Hall before Governor and Lady Carrington. (Thompson/ McPherson, Melba Important Dates p5.)

February 22
Nellie’s second farewell concert was held at St Francis Church. Her last item was Gounod’s ‘Ave Maria’. (Thompson/ McPherson, Melba Important Dates p5.)

February 25
A third and final concert arranged by C. Tait at the Melbourne Town Hall. (Thompson/ McPherson, Melba Important Dates p5.)

March 6
Nellie’s farewell concert in the Melbourne Town Hall with Governor and Lady Loch present. (Thompson/ McPherson, Melba Important Dates p5.)

March 11
The Armstong family – Nellie, Charlie and George – set sail for England with David Mitchell and his daughters Anne and Bella.
(Thompson/ McPherson, Melba Important Dates p5.)

May 1
The Mitchell and Armstrong families arrived in England.
(Thompson/ McPherson, Melba Important Dates p5.)

June 1
Nellie made her first public appearance in London at Princes Hall, Piccadilly at a concert organised by Emil Bach. (Thompson/ McPherson, Melba Important Dates p5.)

July
Nellie went to Paris and auditioned for Marchesi and was accepted as a student. (Thompson/ McPherson, Melba Important Dates p5.)

1887

October 13
Mrs Armstrong with the stage name of Melba, made her professional operatic debut in Rigoletto at Theatre Royale de la Monnaie, Brussels. (Thompson/ McPherson, Melba Important Dates p6.)

1888

May 24
Melba made her first appearance at Covent Garden in Lucia di Lammermoor then Rigoletto. This was not successful so Melba returned to Brussels. (Thompson/ McPherson, Melba Important Dates p6.)

1889

April 14
The King of Belgium presented Melba with the gold medal of the Brussels Conservatoire. (Thompson/ McPherson, Melba Important Dates p6.)

May 8
Melba made her debut at Paris Opera in Hamlet, followed by Rigoletto and Lucia di Lammermoor. (Thompson/ McPherson, Melba Important Dates p6.)

June 15
Melba returns to Covent Garden in Romeo et Juliette opposite Jean de Reszke. (Thompson/ McPherson, Melba Important Dates p6.)

1890

Melba’s only appearance at the Opera Comique, Paris (Theatre des Nations). The occasion was a matinee performance of Carmen to raise funds for a statue of composer Bizet. (Murphy, Melba, p59)

1891

February
Melba visited Russia and sang at the Imperial Opera, St Petersburg. (Murphy, Melba p60.)
Melba received her second Silver Medal from the Paris Conservatoire. (Murphy, Melba pg 62)

1893

March 16
Melba’s debut performance at La Scala, Milan in Lucia di Lammermoor. (Thompson/ McPherson, Melba Important Dates p7.)

July 7
Melba starred in the Covent Garden premier of Pietro Mascagni’s I Rantzau. Mascgani was the conductor. (www.pietromascagni.com)

October and November
Melba was awarded the Order of Literature and Art from King Oscar of Sweden. (Melba, Melodies and Memories p118.)

December 4
Melba made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera House as Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

December 6
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House as Ophelia in Hamlet. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

December 11 & 22
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House as Nedda in I Pagliacci. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

December 29
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House as Gilda in Rigoletto. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

1894

January 14
Melba’s concert at the Metropolitan Opera House included ‘Air du Rossignol’ (Tenserioso’), Handel; Tosti’s ‘Goodbye’. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

January 12
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House as Semiramide in Semiramide. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

January 19
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House as Juliette in Romeo et Juliette. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

January 21
Melba’s Metropolitan Opera House concert included the Mad Scene, Lucia di Lammermoor, Waltz, Romeo et Juliette. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

January 29
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House as Elizabeth in Tannhauser. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

February 6
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House as Elsa in Lohengrin. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

February 10
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House as Juliette in Romeo et Juliette. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

February 14 to 16
Melba gave a gala concert in that time at the Metropolitan Opera House. Works were Act 4, Rigoletto and Act 2, Hamlet. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

February 18
Melba gave a concert at the Metropolitan Opera House performing ‘Sweet bird’ (‘Penserioso’), Handel; Duet (unspecified), Handel; ‘Se saran rose’, Arditi. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

February 23
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House as Marguerite in Faust. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

February 25
Melba gave a concert at the Metropolitan Opera House  featuring ‘Ballatella’, Pagliacci; ‘Caro nome’, Rigoletto. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

April
Gala concert at the Metropolitan, Melba performed the Mad Scene from Hamlet. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

April 16
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House as Marguerite in Faust. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

April 20
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House as Semiramide in Semiramide. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

April 22
Melba’s concert at the Metropolitan Opera House featured ‘Sweet bird’; ‘Bel. raggio’, Semiramide. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

April 26
Melba performed at the Metropolitan Opera House as Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

November 19
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House as Juliette in Romeo et Juliette. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

November 26
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House as Micaela in Carmen. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

November 28
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House as Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

December 1
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House as Marguerite in Faust. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

December 7
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House as Gilda in Rigoletto. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

December 9
Melba gave a concert at the Metropolitan Opera House.
(Radic, Melba p189-191.)

December 12
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House as Marguerite in Faust. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

December 15 Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House as Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

December 17
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House in the US premiere of Elaine in the title role. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

December 19
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House as Juliette in Romeo et Juliette. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

December 22
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House as Elsa in Lohengrin. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

December 26
At the Metropolitan, New York, Melba (the Queen) in Les Huguenots with Nordica, Scalchi, the Reskes, Plancon and Maurel. (Radic, Melba p87.)

December 28
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House as Marguerite in Faust. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

December 29
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House as Gilda in Rigoletto. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

1895

January 5
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House in the title role of Elaine. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

January 12
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House as the Queen in Les Huguenots. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

January 14
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House as Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

January 19
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House as Gilda in Rigoletto. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

January 21
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House as the Queen in Les Huguenots. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

January 25
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House in the title role of Semiramide. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

January 26
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House as Gilda in Rigoletto. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

February 5
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House as the Queen in Les Huguenots. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

February 9
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House as Juliette in Romeo et Juliette. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

February 15
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House as the Queen in Les Huguenots. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

February 16
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House as Marguerite in Faust. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

April 16
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House as the Queen in Les Huguenots. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

April 20
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House as Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

April 27
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House as Marguerite in Faust. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

April 30
Melba appeared at a Gala concert at the Metropolitan Opera House and performed the Mad Scene, Lucia  di Lammermoor. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

June 29
Melba with Tamagno, Ancona, Plançon, Arimondi, Albani and Ravogli perform Meyerbeer’s Les Huguenots at Covent Garden, London.( Meyerbeer site: www.meyerbeer.com )

December 27
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House as Juliette in Romeo et Juliette. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

December 30
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House as Marguerite in Faust. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

1896

January 1
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House as Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

January 4
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House as Gilda in Rigoletto. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

January 5
Melba gave a gala concert at the Metropolitan Opera House and performed the Mad Scene from Lucia di  Lammermoor. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

January 8
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House as the Queen in Les Huguenots. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

January 9
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House as Marguerite in Faust. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

January 13
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House as the Queen in Les Huguenots. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

January 17
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House as Micaela in Carmen. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

January 18
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House as Marguerite in Faust. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

January 20
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House as Juliette in Romeo et Juliette. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

January 25
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House as Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

January 27
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House in the title role of Manon. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

February 3
In the afternoon Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House as Micaela in Carmen. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

February 3
At night Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House in the title role of Manon. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

February 7
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House as Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

February 8
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House as the Queen in Les Huguenots. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

February 12
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House as the Queen in Les Huguenots. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

February 14
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House as Marguerite in Faust. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

April 17
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House as Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

April 20
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House as Micaela in Carmen. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

April 22
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House as Marguerite in Faust. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

April 24
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House in a testimonial for Abbey and Grau. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

November 16
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House as Marguerite in Faust. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

November 21
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House as Marguerite in Faust. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

November 23
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House as Juliette in Romeo et Juliette. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

December 2
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House as Juliette in Romeo et Juliette. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

December 6
Melba appeared in a concert at the Metropolitan Opera House and performed ‘Sevillana’, Don Cesar de Bazan, Massenet; ‘Se saran rose’, Arditi. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

December 9
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House as Marguerite in Faust. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

December 12
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House as Juliette in Romeo et Juliette. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

December 16
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House as Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

December 18
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House as the Queen in Les Huguenots. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

December 21
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House as Violetta in La Traviata. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

December 26
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House as Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

December 30
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House as Brunnhilde in Siegfried. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

1897

January 16
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House as Juliette in Romeo et Juliette. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

1898

December 2
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House as Juliette in Romeo et Juliette. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

December 12
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House as Juliette in Romeo et Juliette. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

December 24
Melba appeared at a matinee at the Metropolitan Opera House as Marguerite in Faust. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

December 29
Melba’s Company presented La Boheme in Italian for the first time in Philadelphia. (The Victorola Book of the Opera p44.)

1899

David Mitchell retired as a building contractor but continued to manage the Cave Hill Estate and develop his other agricultural interests. (Vestey, David Mitchell p18.)

January 11
Melba appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House as Marguerite in Faust. (Radic, Melba p189-191.)

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Our home is the Old Lilydale Court House:
61 Castella Street, Lilydale 3140
Hours of opening:
By appointment only:
Fridays 1 to 4pm and Saturdays to Mondays 11am to 4pm.
Sundays are preferred.
Closed Public Holidays

Nellie Melba Museum

Contact Details:
Sue Thompson: 0475 219 884
Email: info@nelliemelbamuseum.com.au

Share your info with us:
info@nelliemelbamuseum.com.au

Our home is the Old Lilydale Court House:
61 Castella Street, Lilydale 3140
Hours of opening:
By Appointment only:
Fridays 1 to 4pm and Saturdays to Mondays 11am to 4pm.
Sundays are preferred.
Closed Public Holidays

Nellie Melba Museum

Contact Details:
Sue Thompson: 0475 219 884
info@nelliemelbamuseum.com.au

Nellie Melba Museum

Contact Details:
Sue Thompson: 0475 219 884
info@nelliemelbamuseum.com.au

Our home is the Old Lilydale Court House:
61 Castella Street, Lilydale 3140
Hours of opening:
By appointment only:
Fridays 1 to 4pm and Saturdays to Mondays 11am to 4pm.
Sundays are preferred.
Closed Public Holidays

Share Your Information
with Nellie Melba Museum!

Sue Thompson: 0475 219 884
info@nelliemelbamuseum.com.au