Garden, Mary,1874–1967, Scottish-American operatic soprano, b. Aberdeen, Scotland, studied in Paris. Her debut (1900) occurred when she replaced, without rehearsal, the star of Charpentier's Louise, at the Opéra-Comique, Paris. In 1902 she created the role of Mélisande in Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande. In the title role of Massenet's Thaïs she made her American debut (1907) with the Manhattan Opera Company, New York City, and was a member of the Chicago Opera Company from 1910 to 1931.
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Garden, Mary(1874–1967) soprano; born in Aberdeen, Scotland. Garden came to the U.S.A. at age six with her family and early studied voice, violin, and piano. After five years of vocal study in Paris she debuted in 1900 at the Opéra-Comique; there her historic creation of the first Mélisande in Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande (1902) made Garden world famous. In 1907 she made her New York debut in Thäis, which would become her most celebrated role, demonstrating her mastery of both singing and acting. In 1910 she began two decades with the Chicago Opera. Retiring from the stage in 1934, she sang in recitals for two decades more. Her memoirs, Mary Garden's Story, appeared in 1951.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.