This cabinet card features Amalia Mignon Hauck (1851-1929). She was best known as Minnie Hauk and she was a celebrated American opera soprano. Minnie Hauk was born in New York City and as a child also lived in Rhode Island and Kansas. She studied voice with Achille Errani and had her debut in Brooklyn at age 14. Her New York City debut occurred when she was fifteen years of age. She sang Juliette in the American premiere of “Romeo et Juliette” in 1867. She performed in London in 1868 and in Paris the following year. She was the first American “Carmen” (1878). Unfortunately her fame and success did not last throughout her life. By 1918 she was in poverty and nearly blind. To see other photographs by Alfred S. Campbell and to learn more about him, click on the category “Photographer: Campbell”.
Alwina Valleria (1848-1925) is seen in full costume in this cabinet photograph by Cooper of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Valleria was the first American-born singer to appear in principal roles with the Metropolitan Opera. She was a soprano. Born in Baltimore, she attended the Royal Academy of Music in London. She made her operatic debut in St Petersburg in 1871 and sang in Europe until 1879 when she first appeared in America singing Marguerite in Faust with the James Henry Mapleson company. In 1883 she first appeared at the Metropolitan Opera and she was New York City’s first Micaela in Carmen in 1878. She retired from the stage in 1886 and died in France in 1925.