Monday, November 15, 2010

Eva Mylott



(Click on photographs to enlarge.  Click a second time to enlarge further).

The woman above is Australian opera singer Eva Mylott (1875-1920), photographed in Sydney in 1902.

Eva was born in Tuross Head in NSW, the daughter of Patrick Mylott, an importer of wines and spirits, and his wife, Mary Heffernan, both Irish immigrants. Patrick later diversified into shipping at Tuross Heads and started the Mylott dynasty, the family owning the whole of the Tuross Head peninsula until well into the 20th century when it was subdivided for building.

Patrick Mylott discovered Eva’s rich contralto voice at puberty, inspiring him to lease his farm in 1883 and invest in a Sydney wholesale liquor firm so that she could take singing lessons.

By 1897 Eva was a rising young star in the Sydney musical world.

Encouraged by Nellie Melba, Eva travelled to Europe in 1902 with Melba’s introduction to her own Parisian singing teacher and with a promise to meet up with Melba the next year. That promise held true and she appeared with Nellie Melba at the Metropolitan Opera with her. She became a Melba protégé and toured in 1914 with her cousin Marie Narelle (Molly Ryan), another singer.

In 1917 Eva married businessman John Hutton Gibson and they had two children, Hutton and Alexis.

Mylott died in 1920, aged 44, in Chicago, after slipping in the shower and injuring her neck. Two year old Hutton and infant Alexis were left in the care of her husband, who died 13 years later.

Wait a minute… Hutton Gibson… not the Hutton Gibson? Yes, that Hutton Gibson, who went on to have a famous son...

Eva Mylott is the granny of Mel “What are you looking at, sugar tits?” Gibson.

See if there is a resemblance…

 

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