Nellie Melba:Queen of Song is a beguiling tribute to Australia’s first international diva, beloved, legendary soprano Dame Nellie Melba.  Louise Page performs as the epitome of glamour, fame and notoriety in this recital/theatre piece which has captured the public’s imagination from a historical, theatrical,  and musical point of view.  Costumed, and staged very simply, “Dame Nellie”  reminisces about her life and sings the sublime music that made her an icon.  Songs such as “Lo!  Here the gentle lark”,  “Caro nome”,   ”Mi chiamano Mimi” and of course “Home, Sweet Home” punctuate and illustrate  Madame Melba’s story and thoughts on life.   Typical audience reactions have been  ” This is something all Australians should see – where can we see it again?”  Show excerpt;

Nellie Melba: Queen of Song featured for several years in the Musica Viva Countrywide Touring Program.

Press reactions to Nellie Melba: Queen of Song

“This excellently compiled and beguilingly presented musical entertainment based on the life and career of Australia’s first international diva, Dame Nellie Melba, offered performances of some of the arias from operas that she had sung at Covent Garden during the late 1880’s and early 1890’s, an era that is now regarded as ‘the golden years of opera’. Louise Page brought her fine voice and presence to a recounting of Melba’s colourful life, these episodes embellished with a varied selection of some of her favourite songs and arias. A memorable presentation ended with “Home Sweet Home”, the song Melba always sang to conclude her concert recitals, following which Louise Page was accorded a well-deserved standing ovation from an appreciative audience”. W.L.Hoffman, Canberra Times 11 May 2007.

“As deliciously short and sweet as the dessert named after her, (the show) packs insight into how a young Australian woman in the late 1800’s could achieve international recognition as a soprano and enjoy unrivalled ’super-star’ status within her own country. ….Louise Page shows the depth of Melba’s remarkable voice, who had a range of nearly three octaves”. Lyn Mills, Canberra Times 22 August 2007

“She was born Helen Porter Mitchell, but when she died the world knew her as Dame Nellie Melba, the famous Australian diva who stunned the world with a voice that was scintillating, clear, bright and youthful, with a sympathetic tone, extraordinary flexibility and perfect restraint. Yes, she is long dead – she died in 1931, but on Monday night Canberra’s own diva extraordinaire – Louise Page – brought her back to life with an exquisite rendition of Melba’s most famous arias as Mimi, Marguerite, Violetta and others”. Wendy Brazil ….. Artsound FM 25 August 2007

“The anecdotes and reports chosen by Page very neatly tell the story of Melba’s remarkable career and represent almost half of the performance…..Wisely, Page did not try to adopt a particular accent and thus achieved a naturalness and intimacy that were appealing….The creation and performance of Nellie Melba: Queen of Song is a great credit to Page and to all connected with its presentation. It would be an excellent show to take interstate and to country areas in the tradition of Melba’s journeys throughout Australia at the end of her career”. Janet Wilson … Opera Opera October 2007

Sponsor and Audience reactions have included the following:

Accolades have been coming in all through the week, so I wanted to write and tell you of the wonderful impression you made and which we will treasure for a long time.  Thank you again for the very special performance last Saturday.  ( St Ives Music Club)

It was a virtuoso performance and the audience loved it.  It gave a most intelligent insight into what Melba was probably really like.  You have a beautiful voice which does justice to the subject.  I was enthralled.  (Wyvern Music Club)

“…the audience feels a real, believable and genuine encounter with Dame Nellie” – audience member

“Truly magnificent!  Not only was your singing wonderful, but your acting too, had us convinced that you really were Nellie Melba!  I was touched by many of the songs, particularly the “Jewel Song”, and strangely, most of all by the “God save the King”. Thank you for the enjoyment you – and Pip the wonderful accompanist – gave us all. “ – audience member