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Jenny Lind


Poster from the University of Sheffield. (Wikipedia)

Jenny Lind was a Swedish-born operatic soprano singer. She became famous after her performance in Der Freischütz (the Marksman) in Sweden in 1838. Lind’s singing talent quickly made her very popular and she became known as ‘The Swedish Nightingale’.

She travelled throughout Europe in the 1840s, débuting in London on June 15th, 1847 where Lindsang in Bellini’s Opera Normaat the Queen’s Theatre, Haymarket. Queen Victoria was in attendance and was delighted by the performance, which prompted her first invitation to Osborne House on August 9th where she sang in the drawing room.

At the age of 29 she announced her retirement from singing.

In 1850 P T Barnum, the showman, persuaded her to tour America with him. Jenny made an enormous amount of money from the concerts and continued to tour under her own management. The money she earned enabled her to give away most of it to schools and educational charity foundations. This was upwards of $300,000.

By 1855 she had moved to England and became a professor at the Royal College of Music. She continued to appear on stage, and Victoria invited her to Osborne House again in 1855 and 1856.

A bust of Jenny Lind by the sculptor Joseph Durham is in the Horn Room of Osborne House.

Jenny Lind by Eduard Magnus, 1862 (Wikipedia)

1840s portrait, Nordic Museum, Stockholm

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