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Memorable Manitobans: Edith Jane Miller (1875-1936)

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Edith Jane Miller
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Contralto.

Born at Rothsay, Ontario in 1875, daughter of Anna M. Brown (1853-?) and William White Miller, she came to Portage la Prairie with her parents in 1877. She subsequently studied voice at the University of Toronto under Francesco D’Aurea. She taught at the Winnipeg Conservatory of Music, then went to Europe for further study, making her debut at Massey Hall as a contralto. She give her first concert in London in 1905 and was chosen as a soloist in several early performances of Elgar’s Dream of Gerontious and The Kingdom. She gave a recital at the Walker Theatre in Winnipeg before 3,500 people in 1909; it was the social event of the year. In 1911 she represented Canada at the Imperial Festival Canadian concert at the Crystal Place. In July 1913, she married Max Christian Hamilton Ferguson at London, England, in the same week that she appeared for the first time in grand opera, singing Gilda in Rigoletto. Miller subsequently disappeared from the spotlight. She died in England in 1936.

Sources:

“Miss Edith Jane Miller to marry,” Winnipeg Tribune, 22 May 1913, page 12.

“Society,” Winnipeg Tribune, 26 May 1913, page 9.

Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

We thank James Kostuchuk for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 4 November 2020

Memorable Manitobans

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