Australia Post has issued a stamp marking 150 years since the opera singer’s birth.
A new 60-cent postage stamp released this week celebrates Dame Nellie Melba’s sesquicentenary. It is based on the Australian painter Rupert Bunny’s famous 1902 portrait of the great soprano, which depicts Melba at the height of her fame.
It is not the first time her life and career have been commemorated in this way: an earlier tribute marking her centenary in 1961 made Melba the first Australian woman to feature on a stamp. She has also been immortalised on the Australian $100 note.
Melba was the first Australian to achieve international acclaim as a classical vocalist in the late Victorian era, taking the world by storm in performances at Covent Garden and the Met. Enjoying unrivalled superstar status in her homeland, she became one of the first performers to be made a Dame of the Order of the British Empire in 1918.
“We hope this special stamp issue will be popular with opera and art lovers as well as the public,” said Australia Post CEO Ahmed Fahour.