Nevada, Emma



Born in Nevada City, California. Her father, William Wallace Wixon, was a physician of Nevada City. When but three years old she sang in public. Her mother died when she was a child and she was educated at a seminary in Oakland, Cal., and in company of several other young women went to Berlin, where she was advised to seek Madame Marchesi at Vienna. Under her instruction she further developed an already sweet and pure soprano voice and in 1880 made her debut at the Majestic Theatre, London, in the Italian Opera, La Sonnambula. She now assumed the stage name of Emma Nevada. Although her voice has by many been considered too light for grand opera she was engaged at once to sing in Italy and later at the Opera Comique in Paris, in 1883 as Zora in Perle du Bresil, and then as Mignon, perhaps her most successful role, and appeared in 1884 at the Norwich Festival, England. In 1885 she sang in Italian Opera in New York, San Francisco and other American cities on alternate nights with Mme. Patti. She was most warmly welcomed in her own country. In October, 1885, she was married in Paris to Dr. Raymond Palmer, an English physician, but still continued her stage career, going again to America on a concert tour, singing in Covent Garden, London, then in Holland, Germany, Russia, Italy, Portugal and   Spain. In 1898 she again appeared in Paris at the Opera Comique, the following year in London at the Philharmonic and at Crystal Palace, and in 1901 and 1902 revisited all the principal cities of America. Emma Nevada is considered one of the most brilliant singers among American sopranos. The great merits of her voice lie in her staccato effects, chromatic runs and notes in altissimo. Her marvelous technique and beautiful flute-like quality of voice coupled with her gracious and charming womanly traits have won for her a host of admirers both here and abroad. She has a wide repertory, having sung in Mignon, Faust, Sonnambula, Rigoletto, Traviata, Hamlet, Don Pasquale, II Barbiere, Lakme, Mirella, Perle du Bresil and other well-known operas.