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RUSSELL, Lillian, operatic singer, born in Clinton, Iowa, 4th December, 1862. Her maiden name was Helen Louise, and she is the fourth daughter of Charles E. and Cynthia H. Leonard. In 1865 the family removed to Chicago, 111., where, fortunately for Nellie, music was taught in the primary schools. Coming from a long line of musical people, the child gave early promise of her brilliant artistic career. When six years of age, she imitated closely her older sisters on the piano in the music of the old masters. At seven she was placed under her first instructor, Professor Nathan Dye, famous for his success in teaching juveniles, and he laid the foundation of her musical career. LILLIAN RUSSELL A woman of the century (page 637 crop).jpgLILLIAN RUSSELL. At the commencement exercises of the Sacred Heart School, when she was nine years old, Nellie personated a stolen child, in which role she sang, danced and played the tambourine so well that the Lady Superior remarked to Mrs. Leonard: "She will one day be a grand prima donna." At ten she was quite proficient on the violin, and at fifteen she sang in the choir of St. John's Church. Prof. Gill was her instructor in church music. At one of his recitals she sang "Let Me Dream Again," and received complimentary mention. She next studied under Carl Woolfson. who expected to make of her an oratorio singer. In one of his concerts she sang "Hast Thou Ever Seen the Land?" from "Mignon," and the comments which followed in the daily press brought Madame Schoenburg to Mrs. Leonard to secure Nellie as her pupil for operatic training. Nellie was studying painting under Madame St. John, and she felt unwilling to assume the added expense of vocal culture. Madame Schoenburg adjusted the matter by an exchange that was satisfactory to all concerned. Some of Nellie's paintings were transferred to Madame Schoenburg's apartments, and the musical work was successfully carried forward. After Lillian learned the premier part in four operas, Mrs. Leonard decided to go to New York, and later to Europe, to prepare her daughter for the operatic stage. When the "Pinafore" craze was at its height, Ed. Rice engaged Nellie, and soon afterward she became the wife of Harry Braham, leader of the orchestra. She next appeared in San Francisco with the Willie Edouin Company, afterwards returning to New York. It chanced that in the parlor of a mutual friend Mr. Pastor heard her sing the "Kerry Dance." He said at its close: "I would give forty dollars per week if you would sing that on my stage." The following week "Lillian Russell" began her engagement under Mr. Pastor's management and christening. At the end of a month Mr. Pastor put on the "Pirates of Penzance," somewhat abbreviated and slightly burlesqued Miss Russell had the part of "Mabel." Among other managers who heard that opera was Manager Mapleson, who was greatly pleased with the youthful prima donna. At the end of the season Mr. Pastor reengaged Miss Russell for the coming year. Meanwhile John McCall wanted her for the "Snake Charmer" Mr. Pastor released Miss Russell for part of the season, and in one week she prepared herself for the new role, which proved a great success. Her next appearance was in Mr. Pastor's new Fourteenth Street Theater, in "Billee Taylor," and she achieved another success. In the Bijou the next season in "Patience" she sang to crowded houses, giving eight performances weekly. In December Miss Russell's strength failed, and a long and severe illness followed Its tedium was relieved by the kindly attention of her friends, many of whom, both women and men, she had never met personally. Reporters called daily. One cadaverous young man called regularly at midnight to ascertain if it would be safe to publish the "obituary" he had prepared. Towards spring Miss Russell began to mend, and when she was able to sing, a concert was arranged for her in what is now the Broadway Theater. On that occasion she was received with great enthusiasm. She next appeared in the Casino in the "Princess of Trebizond." Under a most unfortunate management Miss Russell made a trip to England and a brief tour through France, Belgium and some portions of Holland. Returning to New York, she sang a full season in the Casino. She next made a tour which included the principal cities of the northern States. She returned again to the Casino. With each new opera came opportunity for the display of her vesatility Mr. French is her present manager and partner in the Lillian Russell Opera Company. Her "La Cigale" had a run of one-hundred nights in New York, and was enthusiastically received in Boston and in Chicago. Miss Russell is ambitious for herself and for her company. She has had her full share of the trials which nearly all successful actors expect at the hands of newspaper writers, who delight in sensationalism at whatever cost. Her home is in West Forty-third street, New York. She is generous to a fault, devoted daughter, a loving sister and a worshipful mother to her little daughter, who gives promise of having inherited her mother's talents