|Dame Nellie Melba by Frank Haviland|
Other Forms: N/A
Melba is a name I just think is lovely. It was first used by Dame Nellie Melba, who was born Helen Porter Mitchell in 1861. Nellie was a nickname of hers and Melba was taken from where she studied singing, Melbourne, Australia. She was one of the most famous singers of the Victorian era and the 20th century. She was also the first Australian to gain international recognition as a classical musician.
At first, Nellie was not very famous, she had had a few jobs in Melbourne, but after an unsucessful marriage, in which her husband repeatedly beat her, she left for Europe in search of fame. Eventually she became the leading lyric soprano at the Covent Garden and then starred in the Metropolitan Opera. The New York Times said she had "one of the loveliest voices that ever issued from a human throat ... simply delicious in its fullness, richness and purity." She raised funds during World War I for charities and went on to teach singing at the Melbourne Conservatorium where she searched for the next big star. Nellie died in 1931, and her funerel was a national event.
I think Melba is just a beautiful name, and would be great for someone with ties to music, or Melbourne. That is, if you can get past Melba Toast and Peach Melba!
Here is Nellie singing "Lo, Here the Gentle Lark".