Woman of the Century/Alice May Esly
ESTY, Miss Alice May, operatic singer, born in Lowell, Mass., 12th April, 1866. She is of purely American descent. Her great-great-grandfather on the maternal side fought under Washington. ALICE MAY ESTY. Her ancestors for generations have lived in New England. Early in life Miss Esty gave promise of great musical ability. As a child she possessed a wonderful soprano voice. At the early age of twelve she announced her intention to become a professional singer. Although from the outset she encountered difficulties that would have discouraged many of maturer years, she never wavered. She was fortunate in securing for her teacher Madame Millar, then Miss Clara Smart, with whom she studied for three years. Miss Esty's first engagement of importance in her native country was an extended tour through the United States with Madame Camilla Urso. That was followed by a very successful season in Boston. The hard work of years began to tell, and Miss Esty after a severe attack of typhoid fever went to England for a change and rest. One of her numerous letters of introduction was to the head of the leading musical house in London. That gentleman expressed a wish to hear the latest singer from what has become recognized in England as the land of song, America. An appointment was made, and. as Miss Esty was singing, several gentlemen dropped in to listen. Among them were Edward Lloyd and Mr. N. Vert. These gentlemen were struck with her beautiful voice and excellent singing. Although only in search of health, Miss Esty received so many flattering offers from managers that she determined to settle in England for a few years. After a flying trip to Boston she returned to London, in March, 1891, and was in much demand for concerts during the season. She achieved a great success with Madame Adelina Patti in the Royal Albert Hall, and an equally successful appearance in a subsequent concert. She was well received in the best musical circles in England. An engagement with the Carl Rosa Grand Opera Company was entered upon in August, 1891. In seven months she learned the leading roles in ten operas, singing to crowded houses on every occasion and never meeting an adverse criticism. During the winter of 1891-92 she filled concert engagements in Birmingham, Nottingham and other important musical centers in England. She has received flattering offers from Sir Charles Halle and other leading conductors. Miss Esty's voice is a pure soprano, of extended compass, powerful and sweet, she sings with warmth of expression as well as finished method, and her articulation is nearly perfection.