Spanish coloratura soprano Elvira de Hidalgo (Aragon: 27 Dec 1892- Milan: 21 Jan 1980): She first appeared in pubic as a pianist at the age of twelve. Studied in Barcelona and Milan. She made her debut (1908) in Naples (Teatro San Carlo) as Rosina. She appeared all over the world: Paris, Cairo, Monte Carlo, Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, Rome, South America, Covent Garden, etc. She is noted for being the only teacher of Maria Callas. German tenor, Jacques Decker (Cologne: 1877 - Cologne: 1964). Studied under Paul Haase, Rudolf Schulz-Dornburg and by E. Wolff. His debut (1906) came at the Municipal Theatre of Elberfeld. From there he went to Mannheim, where he stayed from 1909-12. After 1912 he performed at various cities throughout Germany. The National Theatre Mannheim was badly damaged during World War II. In 1957, Decker, at the age of 80, was the guest of honor when the rebuilt theater reopened to the public. Zélie De Lussan: American mezzo-soprano (1861 - 1949): Debut (1884) Boston. Covent Garden (1895-1902). First performance of Falstaff at the Met. Married pianist Angelo Fronani. Records rare: Victor, Beka. Boston born Bernice de Pasquali (1880-1925), originally Bernice James. She studied in Milan, and with Oscar Saenger in New York. She made her debut in Milan (1900) as Gilda in Rigoletto. She married Italian tenor Pietro de Pasquali who put together his own opera troupe, which included his wife as principal soprano. They toured the United States. Her Metropolitan Opera debut (1909) came when she replaced an ill Marcella Sembrich as Susanna in a performance of Le Nozze di Figaro. She remained at that House until 1917 as a principal coloratura soprano. For a performance of Aida (15 Jan 1910) she appeared as the Priestess under the pseudonym of Emma Laurier, a practice that singers applied when they chose not to have a billing. Jean De Reszke [orig. Jan Mieczyslaw]: Polish tenor (14 Jan 1850 - 3 Apr 1925): Debut as baritone (1874: Turin). Debut as tenor (1879: Madrid) as title role in Robert le Diable. Paris premiere John the Baptist (Hérodiade). World premiere Le Cid. Covent Garden, Met. Edouard De Reszke [orig. Edward Mieczyslaw]: Polish bass (22 Dec 1853 - 25 May 1917): Debut Paris premiere of Aida (1876: Verdi conducting); Created Ruben (Il figliuol prodigo), Gilberto (Maria Tudor), the King (Elda). Returned to Poland and was there during war. Lived in poverty in a cellar and then a cave.
One of the most admired singers in the world of opera was Czechoslovakian soprano Emmy Destinn (1878-1930). Born Emmy Kittl, she adopted the surname of her teacher, Marie Loewe-Destinn. Destinn made her debut (1897) in Dresden as Santuzza (Cavalleria Rusticana). She was immediately hired for the Kroll Theatre in Berlin where she remained for ten years. At Covent Garden in London, where she appeared from 1904 through 1914, she triumphed in roles like Aida (seen here), Cio-Cio-San, and Carmen. Her debut as Aida at the Metropolitan Opera was on 16 Nov 1908.