(1876–1943), singer and actress. Born in Nashville, she decided to become a professional singer after the break-up of her first marriage. Her earliest appearance was as Yum-Yum in an 1893 Oakland (California) production of The Mikado. She then was immediately hired as leading lady at San Francisco's Tivoli Opera House. There Henry Clay Barnabee heard her sing and signed her on as a member of the Bostonians in 1896, scoring a major success with Victor Herbert's The Serenade (1897). To capitalize on her acclaim, Nielsen promptly deserted the Bostonians to form her own company, taking several prominent members with her. Her desertion proved the beginning of the end for the long-popular troupe. Her first solo venture was her greatest triumph, Herbert's The Fortune Teller (1898), followed by the operetta The Singing Girl (1899). Shortly thereafter she left the legitimate stage for a career in grand opera. By the time she returned to Broadway in 1917 in Kitty Darlin', her small, pure voice and her youthful charm had faded, so she quietly retired a short time later.
From The Oxford Companion to American Theatre in Oxford Reference.