Clara Louise Kellogg
American Opera Singer
1842 – 1916 A.D.
The first American singer to win recognition in Europe. Her father, George Kellogg, was an inventor of considerable note. Her mother was an excellent musician. Her birthplace was at Sumpterville, S.C., but her childhood was spent up north.
Clara was evidently a born singer, for a nine months old she could hum a tune correctly.
When she was fourteen years old she began a thorough course of musical studies, and the family removed to New York for that purpose. A professional career was in the minds of the parents from the start, and all her training was with that end in view.
She studied both the French & Italian methods of singing. She made a special study of Marguerite in Gounod’s “Faust,” and in that no one has ever equaled her. Berlioz was in the United States at the time and heard her with astonishment at the skill with which she interpreted the subtler shadings of the poet, which he believed were beyond the reach of lyric art.
Upon appearing in Her Majesty’s Theatre, London, as Marguerite, she won a brilliant triumph. she also sang in the Händel Festival held in the great Crystal Palace, a great honor for an American.
When she returned to America the public was ready to receive her, and everywhere she was met by crowded houses. In one winter she sang one hundred and twenty-five nights.
After some years she accepted an engagement in Austria, where she sang in Italian with a German opera company. She even journeyed into Russia and sang in St. Petersburg.
She has always been a helpful friend to struggling artists. She accumulated a considerable fortune and is generous in distributing to philanthropic and charitable enterprises.
Her voice in youth was a high soprano with a range from C to E flat. With age it lost some of the highest notes but gained in power and richness.
Reference: Woman: Her Position, Influence and Achievement Throughout the Civilized World. Designed and Arranged by William C. King. Published in 1900 by The King-Richardson Co. Copyright 1903 The King-Richardson Co.