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Diva Image #7 Emma Calve
by David for group historicalziegfeld Dec 11, 2010

One of the greatest female singers in the history of opera, Emma Calve emerged in the 1880s as the great vocal dramatist of the European stage. She debuted in 1881, and quickly became recognized as the premier exponent of French dramatic style. Yet the Italians embraced her as well, and she became the favorite singer of Mascagni. After Bizet personally coached her performance in Carmen, she eclipsed every other performer of that role, becoming the definitive Carmen. A creature of titanic emotion on stage, she triumphed in Britain and America. While she found the photographer's studio somewhat confining, and never managed the abandon in gesture there that she did on stage, camera artists on both sides of the Atlantic loved her sittings. Aime Dupont was her regular first choice photographer in New York after she began making regular forays in the United States in 1893. Below we see her as Mignon, Carmen, and Ophelia. A great artist with an immense soul rather than a great beauty, her images now impress one for their attitude rather than their grace or composure. David S Shields

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