Abbott, Emma was born on December 9, 1850 in Chicago, Illinois, United States. Daughter of Seth and Almira (Palmer) Abbott.
Studied under Achille Errani, New York City, circa 1870, later under Sangiovanni, Milan, Italy, under Delle Sedie, Paris, France.
Made debut as guitar player and singer, Peoria, Illinois, 1859. Met Clara Louise Kellogg, Toledo, O., 1867, encouraged by her to go to New York City. Became soprano at Church of Divine Paternity, circa 1870.
Appeared as Marie in Daughter of the Regiment, Convent Garden, London, England., 1876. Returned to New York City, formed Abbott English Opera Company, managed by Eugene Wetherell, toured the country. Became popular for the “Abbott kiss”.
Played leading roles in operas including La Traviata, Romeo and Juliette, Paul and Virginia, H.M.S. Pinafore, Martha, Sonnambula.