She was born Marie-Louise-Emma-Cécile Lajeunesse in Chambly[?], Quebec, to professional musician Joseph Lajeunesse[?] and Mélina Mignault[?]. She began her musical studies with her father at the age of four, then was in a convent between 1858 and 1865 (her mother having died in 1856). She and her family moved to Albany, New York, where she became a popular singer, and saved enough money to study in Europe starting in 1868. She studied with Gilbert-Louis Duprez[?] and changed her last name to "Albani".
Her operatic debut was on March 30, 1870 in Messina, playing Amina in Bellini's La Sonnambula[?]. She was immediately invited to Malta to appear in various operas, and in the following year she signed up to a 5-year contract with Frederick Gye[?] the manager of Covent Garden in London, making her London debut in 1872.
In 1925, Emma Albani was made a Dame Commander of the British Empire[?], but in the same year Ernest died and her money was lost in bad investments. Benefit concerts raised enough for her to live comfortably until she died, in 1930.
She made a few recordings in the 1900s.
Emma Albani, Forty years of song (London, Mills and Bonn Ltd., 1911).
Stephen Willis, "Archives of Emma Albani at the National Library of Canada" National Library News, Vol. 25, no. 12 (December 1993).