Ema was born in Prague on February 26, 1878, to a wealthy family, husbands Jindřiška and Emanueli Kittl, who were very close to art. Her father was a great patron of the painter Václav Brožík and the writer Jan Neruda. Mother studied singing in Prague, Milan and Paris, where she also performed. Parents gave all their five children a musical education.
Ema studied singing with the Loews and the acting art of the National Theater actress Otylie Sklenářová. Already in her youth Ema wrote several plays, she liked the countryside and nature.
The beginning of her career, though, according to the teachers, the singing and acting talent of Ema was excellent, so at the age of 19 she failed the rehearsal for the National Theater. She also experienced a failure in rehearsals for the Dresden Opera. Even after her experience, she joined the German Court Opera in Berlin, where her extraordinary talent was recognized and her singing career began. She also adopted the artistic name Emma Destinnová in Berlin
She began her singing art throughout Europe - Vienna, Paris, London. Sometimes she also visited Prague, where she was already awarded the local audience. She became an honorary member of the National Theater. Ema likes to spend time in Prague, but still preferred to go to the countryside, where she rented chateaux in Domousnice and Trnová u Prahy.