(1) André Allard: Baritone ( ): First performance of La Fanciulla del West at Monte Carlo. Opéra-Comique. Seen here as Escamillo in Carmen. (2-3) Bessie Abott: New York soprano (1878-1919) was born Bessie Pickens. Abott's musical career began in vaudeville houses, where she appeared with her twin sister, Jessie Pickens. While making appearances in operettas, notably 1492 and The Little Christopher, Bessie was heard by Jean de Reszke and was encouraged to pursue grand opera. Her teachers of note in this endeavor included Capoul, Bouhy and Marchesi. She made her debut (1901) at the Palais Garnier (Paris Opéra) as Juliette. After five years at the Opéra, she joined the Metropolitan Opera. Her debut there (20 Jan 1906) was as Mimi in La Bohème. She was on tour with that Company in San Francisco when the 1906 earthquake struck. In her accounts she described how she was nearly thrown from her bed and how her hotel room cracked and writhed about her. Abott also appeared in Monte Carlo, Lisbon and Petrograd. After she married sculptor T. Waldo Story, she retired from the stage.(4-5) Henri Albers: Dutch baritone (1866-1925): Debut (1889) in Amsterdam as Gounod's Méphistophélès (Faust). He toured the U.S. with Jean de Reszke, Nellie Melba, and Emma Calvé before appearing with the Metropolitan Opera in Roméo et Juliette as Mercutio (1898). Albers remained with the Metropolitan for one season and then returned to Europe where he made his mark on the French stages. He appeared frequently at the Opéra-Comique, Covent Garden, and at the Monnaie in Brussels.(6-8) Aïno Ackté.(9) Auguste [Agustarello] Affre: French tenor (21, 23? Oct 1858 - 27 Dec 1931): Debut (22 Jan 1890) as Edgar (Lucia) at the Garnier Opera opposite Nellie Melba. Created the role of Un Prisonnier in Le Mage (Massenet: 1891). After a very long tenure at the Garnier house, he sang in San Francisco (1911), New Orleans (1912), and Havana in 1913. Seen here as William Tell.(10) [Dame] Emma Albani [orig. Marie Louise Cecilie Emma Lajeunesse] Canadian soprano (1 Nov 1847 - 2 Apr 1930): Debut Messina (1870) as Amina (Sonnambula). Florence, Malta, great success at Covent Garden. Paris, St. Petersburg, Moscow. Academy of Music in NY. Married to impresario Ernest Gye and lived in London. For London she created Elisabeth (Tannhäuser) and Elsa (Lohengrin). Favorite of Queen Victoria for whom she performed many times.
Aïno Ackté: French-trained Finnish soprano (1876-1944). After a series of hits and misses that failed to establish her talents, she finally achieved stardom in the title role of Strauss's Salome, which was for a time the definitive interpretation. She is the sister of Irma Ackté Tervani.