Louise Homer

Louise Homer

American opera singer, contralto
Date of Birth: 30.04.1871
Country: USA

Biography of Louise Homer

Louise Homer, born Louise Dilworth Beatty in 1871 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was an American opera singer and contralto. Her father, Reverend William Trimble Beatty, was a Presbyterian minister and the founder of Pennsylvania Female College, now known as Chatham University. Initially, Louise's father was concerned about her desire to become a singer, believing that her voice was a gift from God and should only be used in church. However, he eventually accepted her choice and allowed her to pursue a musical education.

Louise Homer

Louise began her vocal training in Philadelphia and eventually moved to Boston, where she met her future husband, Sidney Homer. They married in 1895 and had six children, maintaining a strong and lasting marriage until Louise's death in 1947.

Louise Homer

In 1897, Louise Homer traveled to France to continue her education in Paris. Her professional debut took place in London, where she performed in Gaetano Donizetti's "La favorite." The following year, she sang at the Royal Opera House in London before moving on to Brussels, where she performed at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie for eight months.

American audiences first saw Louise on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera in 1900, where she played the role of Amneris in Giuseppe Verdi's "Aida." She continued to perform at the Metropolitan Opera for 19 seasons, collaborating with legends of the opera world such as Enrico Caruso, Geraldine Farrar, and Ernestine Schumann-Heink. She also participated in two world premieres - Engelbert Humperdinck's "Königskinder" in 1910 and Horatio Parker's "Mona" in 1912. She performed in several American premieres, including Richard Wagner's "Parsifal," Christoph Willibald Gluck's "Armide," and Modest Mussorgsky's "Boris Godunov."

After leaving the Metropolitan Opera in late 1919, Louise returned in 1927. From 1920 to 1925, she sang at the Chicago Civic Opera, and in 1926, she received applause from audiences in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Louise Homer's repertoire included roles in various operas such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's "The Magic Flute," Verdi's "Otello," Camille Saint-Saëns's "Samson and Delilah," Charles Gounod's "Faust," Giacomo Meyerbeer's "Les Huguenots," and many more. Her Wagnerian and Verdi roles were particularly well-received, and she often cited her favorite role as Amneris in "Aida."

Louise Homer was also known for her performances outside of opera houses. She recorded several Christmas hymns, including duets with Alma Gluck such as "Whispering Hope" and "Jesus, Lover of My Soul."

In 1923 and 1924, Homer was named one of the "12 Great Women" by the National League of Women Voters.

Louise Homer passed away at the age of 76 due to a heart condition on May 6, 1947, in Winter Park, Florida, where her family had moved eight years prior. Her voice was once described as the "most beautiful voice in the world" by the renowned Australian opera diva Nellie Melba.