Emma Eames sings "Air des Bijoux" (the Jewel Song) from Faust on Victor 88006, recorded on February 20, 1905.
Elsewhere on youtube I uploaded a rare radio broadcast from 1939 during which Eames describes her voice: "For the sake of young singers I've been asked to say a few words about my voice and my career.. I had a very flexible voice with a natural trill .."
She was renowned for the beauty of her voice, singing major lyric and lyric-dramatic roles in opera. She was also known for physical beauty, her image widely duplicated in magazines.
Her records issued by the Victor Talking Machine Company are still prized, a few being somewhat easy to find since they sold relatively well, others being scare.
I've met record collectors who swoon when hearing Eames on records. Others have claimed that she comes off as "cold" on those discs.
She was born on August 13, 1865, in Shanghai, China.
In 1889 she debuted in Paris playing Juliet in "Romeo et Juliet." She was 24 when first playing the role of Juliet, who is 13 in Shakespeare's play. Eames continued to perform as Juliet and eventually looked old for the part!
In 1929 Emma Eames wrote an autobiography titled "Some Memories and Reflections."
She was married twice but had no children. Her first husband was Julian Story. Next she married baritone Emilio de Gogorza--a fellow Victor Talking Machine Company recording artist. The husband and wife recorded some titles.
Both marriages ended in divorce.
Paris had been her main residence for a long time; she moved to New York in 1936.
She died at age 86 on June 13, 1952, and is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery in the town of Bath (Sagadahoc County) in Maine.
"Ah! je ris de me voir" is Marguerite's most famous aria from Act III of the French opera Faust by Charles-François Gounod (libretto by Jules Barbier).
This is often called the Jewel Song. The young Marguerite has found a casket of jewels at her door--quite a mystery!. She tries them on and stares in the mirror, imagining herself to be royal. She also thinks of Faust, singing that if he could see her now, he would find her to be enchanting.
Ah! je ris de me voir si belle en ce miroir, Ah! je ris de me voir si belle en ce miroir, Est-ce toi, Marguerite, est-ce toi? Réponds-moi, réponds-moi, Réponds, réponds, réponds vite! Non! Non! ce nest plus toi! Non...non, ce nest plus ton visage; Cest la fille dun roi; Ce nest plus toi, Quon salut au passage! Ah sil était ici! Sil me voyait ainsi! Comme une demoiselle Il me trouverait belle, Ah! Comme une demoiselle, Il me trouverait belle! Achevons la métamorphose, Il me tarde encor dessayer Le bracelet it le collier! Dieu! cest comme une main, Qui sur mon bras se pose! ah! ah! Ah! je ris de me voir si belle dans ce miroir!
HERE IS THE ENGLISH
Ah! I laugh to see myself so beautiful in this mirror, Ah! I laugh to see myself so beautiful in this mirror, Is it you, Marguerite, is that you? Answer me, answer me, Respond, respond, respond quickly! No! No! That is no longer you! No... no, this is no longer your face; It is the daughter of a king It is no longer you, One must greet her as she passes! Ah if only he was here! He would see me thus Like a lady He would find me beautiful, Oh Like a lady, He would find me beautiful! Let us complete my metamorphosis, I am late, but I look forward to try on this bracelet and necklace! God! It's like a hand Which arises on my arm! Ah! Ah Ah! I laugh to see myself so beautiful in this mirror!
Watch videos with other singers performing Ah! je ris de me voir si belle: