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Nellie Melba
DAME NELLIE MELBA GBE (19 May 1861 – 23 February 1931), born HELEN PORTER MITCHELL, was an Australian operatic soprano . She became one of the most famous singers of the late Victorian era
Victorian era
and the early 20th century. She was the first Australian to achieve international recognition as a classical musician. She took the pseudonym "Melba" from Melbourne
Melbourne
, her home town. Melba studied singing in Melbourne
Melbourne
and made a modest success in performances there. After a brief and unsuccessful marriage, she moved to Europe in search of a singing career. Failing to find engagements in London in 1886, she studied in Paris and soon made a great success there and in Brussels. Returning to London she quickly established herself as the leading lyric soprano at Covent Garden from 1888
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La Monnaie
The THéâTRE ROYAL DE LA MONNAIE (or LA MONNAIE) in French , or the KONINKLIJKE MUNTSCHOUWBURG (or DE MUNT) in Dutch is a theatre in Brussels
Brussels
, Belgium
Belgium
. Both of its names translate as Royal Theatre of the Coin . Today the National Opera of Belgium, a federal institution, takes the name of the theatre in which it is housed. Therefore, la Monnaie or de Munt refers both to the structure as well as the opera company. As Belgium's leading opera house it is one of the few cultural institutions which receives financial support from the federal government of Belgium. Other opera houses in Belgium, such as the Vlaamse Opera and the Opéra Royal de Wallonie , are funded by regional governments
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Rigoletto
RIGOLETTO (pronounced ) is an opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi . The Italian libretto was written by Francesco Maria Piave
Francesco Maria Piave
based on the play Le roi s\'amuse by Victor Hugo
Victor Hugo
. Despite serious initial problems with the Austrian censors who had control over northern Italian theatres at the time, the opera had a triumphant premiere at La Fenice
La Fenice
in Venice
Venice
on 11 March 1851. It is considered by many to be the first of the operatic masterpieces of Verdi's middle-to-late career. Its tragic story revolves around the licentious Duke of Mantua, his hunch-backed court jester Rigoletto
Rigoletto
and Rigoletto's beautiful daughter Gilda
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Order Of The British Empire
The MOST EXCELLENT ORDER OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE is a British order of chivalry , rewarding contributions to the arts and sciences, work with charitable and welfare organisations, and public service outside the Civil service
Civil service
. It was established on 4 June 1917 by King George V
George V
, and comprises five classes across both civil and military divisions, the most senior two of which make the recipient either a knight if male or dame if female. There is also the related British Empire Medal , whose recipients are affiliated with, but not members of, the order. Recommendations for appointments to the Order of the British Empire were at first made on the nomination of the United Kingdom, the self-governing Dominions
Dominions
of the Empire (later Commonwealth) and the Viceroy of India
Viceroy of India

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Maurice Strakosch
MAURICE STRAKOSCH (probably 15 January 1825 – 9 October 1887) was an American musician and impresario of Czech origin. CONTENTS * 1 Biography * 2 Notes * 3 References * 4 External links BIOGRAPHYStrakosch was born in Gross-Seelowitz (today Židlochovice), Moravia . He made his debut as a pianist at the age of 11 in Brno
Brno
performing a piano concerto by Hummel . Because his parents weren't satisfied with his career choice, he ran away to Vienna at the age of twelve, where he studied under Simon Sechter . He also studied singing under Giuditta Pasta
Giuditta Pasta
for some time. In 1843, he met tenor Salvatore Patti (1800–1869) at a music festival in Vicenza
Vicenza
. Five years later, he was tour manager of Patti group in New York
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Adelina Patti
ADELINA PATTI (10 February 1843 – 27 September 1919) was an Italian-French 19th-century opera singer, earning huge fees at the height of her career in the music capitals of Europe and America. She first sang in public as a child in 1851, and gave her last performance before an audience in 1914. Along with her near contemporaries Jenny Lind and Thérèse Tietjens , Patti remains one of the most famous sopranos in history, owing to the purity and beauty of her lyrical voice and the unmatched quality of her bel canto technique. The composer Giuseppe Verdi
Giuseppe Verdi
, writing in 1877, described her as being perhaps the finest singer who had ever lived and a "stupendous artist". Verdi's admiration for Patti's talent was shared by numerous music critics and social commentators of her era
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Peter Conrad (academic)
PETER CONRAD (born 1948) is an Australian-born academic specialising in English literature
English literature
, currently teaching at Christ Church at the University of Oxford
University of Oxford
. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature . Conrad was born in Hobart
Hobart
, Tasmania, and attended Hobart
Hobart
High School . After graduating from the University of Tasmania
University of Tasmania
in 1968, Conrad went to Oxford University, UK, on a Rhodes Scholarship , studying at New College . He became a fellow of All Souls College from 1970 to 1973 before taking up his current post at Christ Church. There he taught English since 1973, and has been a visiting professor at Princeton University
Princeton University
and at Williams College
Williams College
, and a guest lecturer throughout the United States
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Ambroise Thomas
CHARLES LOUIS AMBROISE THOMAS (5 August 1811 – 12 February 1896) was a French composer, best known for his operas Mignon (1866) and Hamlet (1868, after Shakespeare
Shakespeare
) and as Director of the Conservatoire de Paris from 1871 till his death. CONTENTS* 1 Biography * 1.1 Early life and studies * 1.2 Career * 1.3 Success * 2 Honours * 3 Works * 3.1 Operas * 3.2 Ballets * 3.3 Other works * 4 See also * 5 Notes * 6 References * 7 Further reading BIOGRAPHY"There is good music, there is bad music, and then there is Ambroise Thomas." - Emmanuel Chabrier
Emmanuel Chabrier
EARLY LIFE AND STUDIES Portrait of Ambroise Thomas
Ambroise Thomas
in 1834 by Jean-Hippolyte Flandrin Thomas's parents were music teachers. By the age of 10, he was already an experienced pianist and violinist
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La Traviata
LA TRAVIATA (Italian: , THE FALLEN WOMAN) is an opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi
Giuseppe Verdi
set to an Italian libretto by Francesco Maria Piave . It is based on La Dame aux Camélias (1852), a play adapted from the novel by Alexandre Dumas, fils
Alexandre Dumas, fils
. The opera was originally titled Violetta, after the main character. It was first performed on 6 March 1853 at the La Fenice
La Fenice
opera house in Venice. Piave and Verdi wanted to follow Dumas in giving the opera a contemporary setting, but the authorities at La Fenice
La Fenice
insisted that it be set in the past, "c. 1700". It was not until the 1880s that the composer and librettist's original wishes were carried out and "realistic" productions were staged
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Il Dolce Suono
"IL DOLCE SUONO" ("The Sweet Sound") is the incipit of the recitativo of a scena ed aria taken from Act III scene 2, Lucia di Lammermoor
Lucia di Lammermoor
by Gaetano Donizetti
Gaetano Donizetti
. It is also commonly known as the "mad scene " sung by the leading soprano, Lucia. Lucia descends into madness, and on her wedding night, while the festivities are still being held in the Great Hall, she stabs her new husband, Arturo, in the bridal chamber. Disheveled, unaware of what she has done, she wanders in the Great Hall, recalling her meetings with Edgardo and imagining herself married to him. Donizetti intended the aria to be accompanied by the eerie sound of the glass harmonica , though this instrument is often replaced in performance by a flute
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Nicholas II Of Russia
NICHOLAS II (Russian : Николай II Алекса́ндрович, tr. Nikolay II Aleksandrovich; 18 May 1868 – 17 July 1918) was the last Emperor
Emperor
of Russia
Russia
, ruling from 1 November 1894 until his forced abdication on 15 March 1917. His reign saw the fall of the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
from being one of the foremost great powers of the world to economic and military collapse. Due to the Khodynka Tragedy , anti-Semitic pogroms , Bloody Sunday , the violent suppression of the 1905 Revolution , the execution of political opponents and his perceived responsibility for the Russo-Japanese War , he was given the nickname NICHOLAS THE BLOODY by his political adversaries. Soviet historiography portrayed Nicholas as a weak and incompetent leader, whose decisions led to military defeats and the deaths of millions of his subjects
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Roméo Et Juliette
ROMéO ET JULIETTE ( Romeo
Romeo
and Juliet) is an opera in five acts by Charles Gounod to a French libretto by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré , based on The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet
Romeo and Juliet
by William Shakespeare. It was first performed at the Théâtre Lyrique (Théâtre-Lyrique Impérial du Châtelet), Paris on 27 April 1867. This opera is notable for the series of four duets for the main characters and the waltz song "Je veux vivre" for the soprano. CONTENTS * 1 Performance history * 2 Critical reception * 3 Roles * 4 Synopsis * 4.1 Act 1 * 4.2 Act 2 * 4.3 Act 3 * 4.4 Act 4 * 4.5 Act 5 * 5 References * 6 External links PERFORMANCE HISTORYGounod's opera Faust had become popular at the Théâtre Lyrique since its premiere in 1859 (it was performed over 300 times between 1859 and 1868) and this led to a further commission from the director Carvalho
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Faust (opera)
FAUST is a grand opera in five acts by Charles Gounod to a French libretto by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré from Carré's play Faust et Marguerite, in turn loosely based on Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
's Faust, Part One . It debuted at the Théâtre Lyrique on the Boulevard du Temple in Paris on 19 March 1859 , with influential sets designed by Charles-Antoine Cambon and Joseph Thierry, Jean Émile Daran, Édouard Desplechin
Édouard Desplechin
, and Philippe Chaperon
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Paris Opera
The PARIS OPERA (French : Opéra de Paris; French: (help ·info )) is the primary opera company of France. It was founded in 1669 by Louis XIV
Louis XIV
as the Académie d'Opéra, and shortly thereafter was placed under the leadership of Jean-Baptiste Lully
Jean-Baptiste Lully
and officially renamed the ACADéMIE ROYALE DE MUSIQUE, but continued to be known more simply as the Opéra. Classical ballet as we know it today arose within the Paris
Paris
Opera
Opera
as the Paris
Paris
Opera
Opera
Ballet
Ballet
and has remained an integral and important part of the company
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Un Ballo In Maschera
UN BALLO IN MASCHERA (A Masked Ball) is an opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi
Giuseppe Verdi
with text by Antonio Somma . However, Somma's libretto was itself based on the five act libretto which playwright Eugène Scribe had written for Daniel Auber
Daniel Auber
's 1833 opera, Gustave III, ou Le bal masqué . Scribe wrote about the assassination in 1792 of King Gustav III of Sweden
Sweden
who was killed as the result of a political conspiracy against him. He was shot while attending a masked ballroom dance and died 13 days later of his wounds. It was to take over two years between the time of the commission from Naples
Naples
and planned for a production there and its premiere performance at the Teatro Apollo in Rome on 17 February 1859
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The New York Times
THE NEW YORK TIMES (sometimes abbreviated NYT and THE TIMES) is an American daily newspaper , founded and continuously published in New York City since September 18, 1851, by The New York Times Company . The New York Times
The New York Times
has won 122 Pulitzer Prizes , more than any other newspaper. The paper's print version in 2013 had the second-largest circulation, behind The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal
, and the largest circulation among the metropolitan newspapers in the United States. The New York Times
The New York Times
is ranked 18th in the world by circulation . Following industry trends, its weekday circulation had fallen in 2009 to fewer than one million. Nicknamed "THE GRAY LADY", The New York Times
The New York Times
has long been regarded within the industry as a national "newspaper of record "
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