Six-year-old Helen Porter just wanted to sing on stage. As a child, and then a teenager, she continued to pursue her dream of being a great opera star. In 1886, aged 25 she left Melbourne for the bright lights of London.
Born Helen Porter Mitchel, she changed her name to reflect her Melbourne heritage. In 1887 Nellie Melba made her operatic debut. She went on to sing in all the great opera houses of Europe. During World War 1 Nellie Melba worked tirelessly holding many fundraising concerts for the war effort.
Nellie Melba was the first great Australian diva.