Authorities differ as to the date and place of birth of Calve, but according to Grove she was born at Madrid, in 1864.
She was a pupil of Marchesi and of Puget. Her first important appearance was at the Theatre Monnaie, in Brussels, September, 1882, where she made her debut as Marguerite in “Faust”.
Her first Paris appearance was as Bianca in Dubois; “Aben Hamet”, at the Theatre Italien, December 16, 1884.
After a tour through Italy she again sang in Paris as Lelia in Bizet’s “Pecheurs des Perles”, in 1889. She also created the role of Santuzza, at the first production of “Cavalleria Rusticana”, in Paris, January 19, 1892, appearing later in the same year at Covent Garden, London, in this opera.
It is, however, as Carmen that Calve will be remembered, and few who were present will forget the indescribable sensation she created in New York when she made her first appearance in this role, December 20, 1893. She made her New York debut as Santuzza a month previous to the “Carmen” production.
She then toured the principal cities of Europe, meeting with uniform success wherever she went. Calve did not appear in opera during the past season, but she toured America, giving many concerts to delighted audiences.