Show artwork for Dame Nellie Melba's Farewell
MTC Audio Lab

Great Australian Speeches

Dame Nellie Melba's Farewell

Read by Marg Downey

Marg Downey brings Australian opera singer Dame Nellie Melba’s 1924 farewell speech to life.

Dame Nellie Melba, born Helen Porter Mitchell, was an Australian operatic soprano and was the first Australian classic musician to receive international recognition and became one of the most famous singers of the late 1800s and early 20th century.

She adopted the stage name 'Melba' based on her home town of Melbourne.

Throughout the 1920s, Melba was remembered for an ongoing series of 'farewell' appearances, resulting in the expression 'more farewells than Dame Nellie Melba'

This famous Farewell speech was given by Dame Nellie Melba following a performance of Puccini's 'La Boheme' at Her Majesty’s Theatre in Melbourne, 13 October 1924. For this MTC Audio Lab episode it is read by Marg Downey.

Thank you for tuning into MTC Audio Lab. You can hear more episodes from this series here.

While we're offstage, we begin this new initiative by experimenting with non-fiction texts and poetry in Great Australian Speeches, recreating chilling ghost stories in a dramatic reading of The Turn of the Screw by Henry James, and will be exploring audio plays when we can return to the studio.

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Published on 17 July 2020

MTC Audio Lab: Great Australian Speeches