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Melba, Dame Nellie, 1861–1931, Australian soprano. She made her operatic debut in Brussels in 1887. Famous for her lyric and coloratura roles, she sang regularly at Covent Garden in London from 1888 until 1926 and intermittently with the Metropolitan Opera Company in New York City from 1893 to 1910; in 1907 she performed at the Manhattan Opera House and also made appearances in Australia and many other parts of the world. She was made Dame of the British Empire in 1918.