Emma Albani (1847 – 1930)

Emma Lajeunesse Albani
Library and Archives Canada/C-003307

Emma Lajeunesse Albani was an international operatic superstar in the 19th century. Born in Québec, where her parents nurtured her early musical training, she left Canada in 1868 to study in Paris and Milan. Two years later, she made her operatic debut in Messina, Italy. Her career soared, and she became Canada’s first artist to achieve international recognition. Albani’s devoted fans around the world included Queen Victoria and other royals, political leaders, high-society figures, fellow musicians and the press. She was celebrated for her musical talent, sweet personality and consistent professionalism. Over the course of an illustrious 40-year career, Albani received many honours, including the title of Dame Commander of the British Empire, along with requests to sing at Queen Victoria’s funeral and Edward VII’s coronation.

"I have married an Englishman, and have made my home in England, but I still remain at heart a French-Canadian."

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