Florence Foster Jenkins was an American socialite who was often ridiculed and mocked for her poor singing ability, which in turn made her popular. Known as the world's worst opera singer, Jenkins became a musical cult-figure in New York City due to her technical incompetence as an amateur soprano. Her life inspired several plays and films, including Florence Foster Jenkins.
Nellie Melba was an Australian singer. One of the most popular singers of the early 20th century, Melba was the first Australian classical musician to achieve international recognition. Also known for her charity work during the First World War, Nellie Melba was made Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1918.
Enrico Caruso was an operatic tenor who performed at prominent opera houses in the Americas and Europe. His commercially released recordings made him an international star in the early-1900s. Thanks to his illustrious career that spanned 25 years, Caruso became one of the most popular entertainers of his generation. In 1987, he was honored with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
Adelina Patti was an Italian opera singer who achieved immense poularity in the USA and Europe. One of the finest singers of her generation, Patti was also among the highest-paid at the peak of her career. Along with her near contemporaries Thérèse Tietjens and Jenny Lind, Adelina Patti is considered one of the most popular sopranos of all time.
Anna Held was a Polish singer and stage performer. Although her personal life and relationship with Florenz Ziegfeld overshadowed her professional career, Anna Held's uninhibited style inspired the popular theatrical revue productions on Broadway, The Ziegfeld Follies. Her relationship with Florenz Ziegfeld also inspired films like The Great Ziegfeld and Ziegfeld: The Man and His Women.
Agustín Lara was a Mexican composer and songwriter. Apart from gaining popularity in Mexico, Lara's work has also been appreciated in places like the Caribbean, United States, Spain, Italy, Japan, and Central and South America. Many of his songs have been recorded by several international singers like Enrico Caruso. Lara's life inspired the 1959 film The Life of Agustín Lara.
American opera singer Grace Moore, also known as the Tennessee Nightingale, initially sang in New York nightclubs and then moved on to Broadway. She is remembered for her Academy Award-nominated role in the romantic musical One Night of Love. She died in a plane crash in Copenhagen after a performance.
Eva Mylott was an Australian opera singer. A protégé of Nellie Melba, Mylott moved to England with the former in 1902 in order to pursue her career as an opera singer outside Australia. In 1917, Eva Mylott married an American businessman named John Hutton Gibson and is best remembered as the paternal grandmother of American actor Mel Gibson.
Initially a stenographer, Romanian-born American opera singer Reba Fiersohn, better known as Alma Gluck, started her music career after her marriage and soon found success with her performances at the Metropolitan Opera. She scripted history by scoring the first million-selling phonograph record and also co-founded the American Woman's Association.
Liane de Pougy was a French dancer and vedette who performed at the Folies Bergère in Paris. Remembered for her captivating looks, de Pougy was widely regarded as one of Paris's most notorious courtesans. She also served as the subject for many artists like Paul César Helleu and Jean Baptiste Guth.
Pauline Viardot was a noted French operatic Mezzo-soprano, music-pedagogue and composer of nineteenth century considered a star performer of her time. She hailed from a musical family. During her illustrious career that spanned over several decades, Viardot thrived as a remarkable pianist and as a complete all-around professional musician. Her notable works include the operas Le dernier sorcier and Cendrillon.