Woman of the Century/Marie Decca
DUCCA, Marie, operatic singer, was born in Georgetown, Ohio. She is the only daughter of the MARIE DECCA. venerable Judge Sanders |ohnston, of Washington, D. C., and a granddaughter of General Thomas Harney, of Mexican war fame. Of Scotch descent, she has the flexible qualities and the firmness of purpose which emphasize the character of that people, and, judging from her keen wit and remarkable gifts as a delineator of character, there is a vein of Irisn in her lineage. Much of her early life was spent in Maysville, Mason county, Ky., and she enjoyed out-of-door pleasures with the intensity of healthy, happy girlhood. She was educated in the Sacred Heart Convent. New York, and later studied music in Philadelphia, Pa. During her school years Marie had a preference and great fondness for the stage, and she would have made it her profession, had not her friends strongly opposed her. While studying in Philadelphia, she had the pleasure of seeing and hearing Madame Gerster, and that distinguished artist heard the young student sing in "Daughter of the Regiment". Gerster was delighted and exclaimed: "An Italian voice and an American girl!" That eminent artist advised the American girl to go to Paris and take a thorough course, and, risking all and braving everything, she went and was under the tuition of Madame Marches! for four years. Out of a class of sixteen, "John," as the pupils called her, was the only one who finished the course. Madame Marchesi often said to her: "You have a well-fed voice, and it is good care, plenty of sleep and beefsteak, Marie, that gives you the advantage of all these extra half-hours." Some of the very strongest traits in the character of this artist are her persistent painstaking as an artist, her fearless devotion to principle, her undaunted bravery and integrity to herself and to her friends. Her devotion to the flag of the Union made her a subject of ridicule sometimes in other countries. It is well known that Madame Marchesi has neither admiration nor fondness for our "Stars and Stripes," and the nearest approach to a rupture between her and Marie Decca was the former's taunting remarks concerning the Red, White and Blue. Mile. Decca always carries the American flag wherever she goes, and she would fight to shield it from insult. Her voice is a soprano of the most flexible and remarkable range, reaching F natural, with exquisite tone and strength. She made her debut in Covent Garden, England, under the management of Col. Mapleson, as the Queen of Night in Mozart's "Magic Flute," and made an instant success. She sang three seasons with Her Majesty's Italian Opera and one season with Carl Rosa's English Opera Company. Her repertoire has a wide range, Italian, French, English, and includes "Lucia," "Sonnambula," "Dinorah," "Lakme," "Hamlet," "Linda." "Rigoletto," "Faust," "Fra Diavolo" "II Barbiere," "Don Pasquale," "Daughter of the Regiment," "Marriage of Figaro," "Mignon," "Masked Ball," "Magic Flute," " Bohemian Girl," "Nordisa" and many others. Since Mile. Decca's debut in America she has won a place few American singers have ever attained. Her first appearance in Boston was a triumph, and the entire press was unanimous in enthusiastic admiration of her wonderful execution.