Diva

A biography of Dame Nellie Melba
by
November 2021, no. 437
Buy this book

Nellie: The life and loves of Dame Nellie Melba by Robert Wainwright

Allen & Unwin, $32.99 pb, 344 pp

Diva

A biography of Dame Nellie Melba
by
November 2021, no. 437
Dame Nellie Melba, c.1907 (Rotary Photo/National Library of Australia/Wikimedia Commons)
Dame Nellie Melba, c.1907 (Rotary Photo/National Library of Australia/Wikimedia Commons)

There were divas before Nellie Melba and, given that nowadays any young woman who can hold her career together for a few years while screeching into a microphone has the title bestowed on her, there have been many genuine and ersatz ones since. But Dame Nellie (1861–1931) remains the ne plus ultra, the gold standard of opera divas. Essential attributes include an instantly recognisable voice, an unshakeable faith in one’s ability, and position in the world, and an equally unshakeable determination that no rival will intrude upon one’s limelight. Nellie Mitchell showed these traits from an early age.

Ian Dickson reviews 'Nellie: The life and loves of Dame Nellie Melba' by Robert Wainwright

Nellie: The life and loves of Dame Nellie Melba

by Robert Wainwright

Allen & Unwin, $32.99 pb, 344 pp

Buy this book

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