Performance | Operas & Roles

Despite her early lack of in-depth knowlege of languages, when in Europe, Melba worked tirelessly to learn and master French, German and Italian, an achievement audiences around the world recognised and applauded.

Melba studied roles in 26 operas, some of which she was fortunate to be able to work with the composer to give her a greater understanding of the role and what the composer wanted to achieve.

Melba herself wrote:

The study of the French, German and Italian languages, so necessary to the operatic artist, is always more thoroughly carried out in the countries where they are the native tongue. The chances to study under the most famous masters, and the opportunities to hear the greatest works interpreted by the greatest artists, are also comparatively easy and numerous in Europe.

Reference: A.G. Murphy, Melba: A Biography in the section Melba’s Advice on the selection of Music as a Profession p 322.

Melba’s Repertoire

Melba’s operatic repertoire was extensive, with her most famous role being Mimi in La Boheme.

Her roles and the operas were:

  1. Aida  – Aida (Verdi) – View images
  2. Brünnhilde – Siegfried (Wagner) – View images
  3. Desdemona – Otello (Verdi) – View images
  4. Elaine – Elaine (Bemberg) – View images
  5. Elisabeth – Tannhäuser (Wagner) – View images
  6. Elsa – Lohengrin (Wagner) – View images
  7. Esmeralda – Esmeralda (Goring Thomas) – View images
  8. Gilda – Rigoletto (Verdi) – View images
  9. Hélène – Hélène (Saint Saëns) – View images
  10. Juliette – Romeo et Juliette (Gounod) – View images
  11. Lakmé – Lakmé (Debiles) – View images
  12. Leonora – Il Travatore (Verdi) – View images
  13. La Infanta – Le Cid (Massenet) – View images
  14. Lucia – Lucia di Lammermoor (Donezetti) – View images
  15. Manon – Manon (Massenet) – View images
  16. Marguerite – La Damnation of Faust * (Berlioz) – View images
  17. Marguerite – Faust (Gounod) – View images
  18. Marguerita de Valois – Les Hugenots (Meyerbeer) – View images
  19. Micaela – Carmen (Bizet) – View images
  20. Mimi – La Bohème (Puccini) – View images
  21. Nedda – I Pagliacci (Leoncavello) – View images
  22. Ophelia – Hamlet (Thomas) – View images
  23. Rosina – Barber of Seville (Rossini) – View images
  24. Semiramide – Semiramide (Rossini) – View images
  25. Violetta – La Traviata (Verdi) – View images
  26. Luisa – I Rantzau (Mascagni) – View images

Links to the composers

Melba as Mimi

Melba as Elizabeth

Melba as Juliette

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Email us your info (and images) to:
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
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