Albani, Marie Emma


The stage name of Marie Louise Cecil Emma Lajeunesse, a distinguished prima donna. She was born near Montreal, of French Canadian parents. Her father was a teacher of the organ and harp. She received her first musical instruction in a convent in Montreal and in 1864 went with her family to Albany, New York, where she sang in the choir of the Catholic Cathedral, and attracted the attention of the bishop, who advised that she be sent to Europe to develop her voice. A concert for her benefit was given in Albany, and she went abroad with her father, studying first in Paris for two years and afterward in Milan with Lamperti. She made her debut in 1870, in La Sonnambula, at Messina, and has since sung in all the principal European countries with great success, and also in America. In 1878 she married Mr. Ernest Gye, the lessee of the Covent Garden Theatre. Madame Albani, besides singing in Italian, French and German opera, has been very successful in concert and oratorio work. Among her most successful parts were Elizabeth in Tannhauser, Elsa in Lohengrin, and Senta in the Flying Dutchman. Perhaps her greatest operatic triumph, was when she sang Isolde to the Tristan of Jean de Reszke, in 1896. She has also created parts in many important new works, among them the Specter's Bride, the Redemption, The Martyr of Antioch, St. Ursula, The Golden Legend, and St. Ludmila. Madame Albani is also an excellent pianist.