Forgotten Opera Singers

Forgotten Opera Singers

Apr 24, 2015

Mignon Nevada (Soprano) (Paris, France 1886 – Long Melford, England 1971)

She was a leading European soprano of the early 20th. century. Born Mary Mathilda Mignon Amina Palmer, she was the child of legendary coloratura Emma Nevada, and received her given name from the opera "Mignon" by her godfather Ambrose Thomas. Trained as a coloratura by her mother, which some considered a mistake, she made her February 1908 operatic debut at the Teatro Costanzi, Rome, as Rosina in Rossini's "The Barber of Seville". Mignon was first heard at Covent Garden, London, in 1910 as Desdemona in Giuseppe Verdi's "Otello" under the baton of Sir Thomas Beecham, who both considered her his favourite Ophelia in Thomas' "Hamlet" and thought that she should have been a mezzo soprano. She had notable success in London up to 1922 as the doll Olympia of Jacques Offenbach's "The Tales of Hoffman", the tragic title heroine of Donizetti's "Lucia di Lammermoor", Marguerite in Charles Gounod's "Faust", the doomed Gilda in Verdi's "Rigoletto", and Zerlina from Mozart's "Don Giovanni". Her Opera-Comique, Paris, bow came in 1920 as the title lead of Leo Delibes' "Lakme" and she was also seen there as Mimi from Puccin's "La Boheme". Mignon first appeared at La Scala Milano in 1923 and at the Paris Opera in 1932. In her later years she was, as had been her mother, a respected voice teacher. Her recorded legacy consisting of a single recording of a Thomas song cut in 1938 has been preserved.

Chronology of some appearances

1908 Rome Teatro Costanzi Barbiere di Siviglia (Rosina)
1910 London Covent Garden Otello (Desdemona)
1920 Paris Opera-Comique Lakme (Lakme)
1923 Milan La Scala ? (-)


International Record Collectors Club (USA) 1924
Esmeralda - Polacca 3139

Unpublished Electric Voix de Son Maitre Paris, 1931  
Faust (Gounod): Ah, je ris de me voir Test Pressing (mtx. OK-93-1)

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