Clara Louise Kellogg

Clara Louise Kellogg Biography

Clara Louise Kellogg (July 9, 1842 – May 13, 1916) was an American singer.

Clara Louise Kellogg was born in Sumterville, South Carolina, the daughter of Jane Elizabeth (Crosby) and George Kellogg. She received her musical training in New York City and first sang in opera there in 1861. Her fine soprano voice and artistic gifts soon made her famous. She appeared as prima donna in Italian opera in London and at concerts in 1867 and 1868, and from that time till 1887 was one of the leading public singers. She appeared at intervals in London, but was principally engaged in America.

In 1874 Kellogg organized an opera company widely known in the United States, and her enterprise and energy in directing it were remarkable. The company weathered a tragedy on May 26, 1882, when two members drowned while on tour. During a break in the company's schedule, the recently signed 19-year-old virtuoso pianist Herman Rietzel and bass singer George Conly took a pleasure outing in a rowboat on Lake Spofford near Chesterfield, New Hampshire; later that day, the boat was found capsized, but Rietzel's body was not recovered until the following June 7, and Conly's not until a week later still.

Kellogg retired after marrying Carl Strakosch in Elkhart, Indiana on November 6, 1886. In 1913 she published her memoirs under the title Memoirs of an American Prima Donna. She died in New Hartford, Connecticut.

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