This was the home of Irene Salemka; who, over the years, became a renowned opera singer. She is the daughter of Reverend and Mrs. P.A. Salemka, who was pastor of the Lutheran Church in Weyburn for many years. Irene married Louis Raney of Mannheim, Germany and became the leading lyric soprano in the Frankfurt State Opera.
Irene attended Souris School and Weyburn Collegiate where she won honours in a music festival in Weyburn. This took her to Regina where she was awarded first place in 1949 as an artist on a TB-PF amateur show, over CKRM in Regina, Singing & working her way across the country Irene, in 1953, won an award on “Singing Starts of Tomorrow”.
The year 1955 was perhaps the turning point in her career when, competing with 200 singers at Carnegie Hall, she won first place and also a contract with the New Orleans Opera Company. Her first major appearance in Europe was in 1956 when she was engaged by the Sadler Wells Opera Company in London. Before the year was out, she sang as leading soprano in the Basle State Opera in Switzerland, singing such roles as “Mini” in La Boheme, “Pamina” in the Magic Flute, “Susanna” in the Marriage of Figaro, and “Violetta” in La Traviata. Singing many leading roles as a guest in major German opera houses, she was offered the position of leading lyric soprano in the Frankfurt State Opera about 1957. Among the countries in which she has sung are England, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Holland and Russia.