Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Antique Image of the Day: Madame Albani Gye, 1883

Madame Albani Gye
Presented to Queen Victoria, 1883
Crown Copyright
The Royal Collection
Image Courtesy of
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
Sometimes the audience would fill the great room at the Palace, stretching out behind the two rows of Royalties, glittering and splendid in jewels and uniforms, and the Queen’s private band would be swollen out of all recognition by Costa’s additions from the various orchestras he conducted and a large chorus from the Opera. 

--Averil Mackenzie Grieve, Clara Novello, 1818-1908

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were fervent fans of the opera and often had command performances by the favorite singers (as described above) at Buckingham Palace. Among the favorites of the Royal couple was a Canadian singer known professionally as Emma Albani. Dame Emma Albani Gye was a Canadian-born soprano who made her debut in 1870. She was a frequent guest of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

Dame Albani presented the Queen with this photograph of herself in 1883. 

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