Hauck, Minnie

A dramatic mezzpsoprano, whose early life was spent in the west. She was born in New York, the authorities differing as to the date. The family moved to New Orleans, where she lived during the War of the Rebellion, but through all the disturbances Minnie learned to play the banjo, to sing plantation songs and to organize theatrical performances among her playmates. She was placed under Signer Errani, of New York, to begin her operatic education, and sang in Mr. Leonard Jones' private theatre, becoming very popular after singing in La Sonnambula at the Academy of Music in 1868. She sang in other American cities and received further instruction from Maurice Strakosch. She appeared in 1867 as Juliet in Gounod's opera, upon its production, and in 1868 made her debut at Covent Garden as Amina, scoring a great success. Under the management of Strakosch she made a tour through Holland and Russia, also singing in Paris. In Vienna, in 1870, she was so well received that she was given a three years' engagement. From 1874 to 1877 she sang in Berlin, and was a great favorite. She next sang in Brussels, returning to America in 1878. Her singing of Carmen caused Mapleson to engage her for Her Majesty's, London, and she sang there on alternate nights with Nilsson. In 1881 she married Baron Ernest von Hesse-Wartegg, an author and correspondent of the Neue Freie Presse, and made three trips around the world with him, being everywhere well received. She later divided her time between England and the United States, appearing at the Crystal Palace and the Philharmonic concerts, in opera, 18871888, at Covent Garden and Drury Lane. Her final appearances, 18941895, were in the Carl Rosa Opera at Liverpool and at the Ballad concerts, and also in Germany and Italy. Her repertory contained about one hundred parts. Carmen alone sung five hundred times in French, English, German and Italian. She was the recipient of several decorations, such as chamber-singer to the Court of Prussia, officer of the French Academy, the Order of St. Cecilia at Rome, etc. Since the death of her mother in 1896 she sings only occasionally for charitable purposes. She lives with her husband at a villa near Lucerne.