Frances Jeanne Alda and Adoption

Frances Alda photographed in the 1920s



Also known as Fanny Jane Davis

New Zealand-Australian opera singer

Alda (her stage name) was born Fanny Jane Davis in New Zealand. Her parents divorced when she was 15 months old, and her mother, a professional singer, died in 1884, after which young Fanny was raised by her musical maternal grandparents in Melbourne. She started singing professionally when she was 18 and quickly became well known as a Gilbert and Sullivan, classical opera and concert singer. Between 1909 and 1929, when she retired from the stage, she made over 130 recordings. She married twice.


Alda, Frances. Men, Women and Tenors. (New York: AMS Press, 1971) The Book of New Zealand Women = Ko Kui ma te Kaupapa, edited by Charlotte Macdonald, Merimeri Penfold and Bridget Williams. (Wellington: Bridget Williams Books, 1991)