Albani [Lajeunesse], Dame Emma (opera) (Marie Louise Cécile)
- Alexis Chitty
- , revised by Gilles Potvin
(Marie Louise Cécile)
(b Chambly, nr Montreal, Nov 1, 1847; d London, April 3, 1930). Canadian soprano. Her father was a professor of the harp, piano and organ. She was educated at the Couvent du Sacré-Coeur at Montreal. She gave concerts in some Quebec towns before her family moved to Albany, New York, in 1864; there she became a soloist at St Joseph’s church and the Albany bishop and others advised Lajeunesse that his daughter should adopt a musical career. She went to Paris in 1868 where she was taught by Duprez. Later she studied with Lamperti in Milan. In 1870 she made her début at Messina as Amina in Bellini’s La sonnambula, adopting, as suggested by her elocution teacher, the name of Albani, borrowed from an old Italian family. She then sang successfully at Malta and Florence.
On 2 April 1872 she made her London début at Covent Garden as Amina. The beautiful qualities of her voice and the charm of her appearance were at once appreciated. She sang nearly every season there until ...