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Santley, Sir Charles

SANTLEY, SIR CHARLES (1834- ), English vocalist, son of an organist at Liverpool, was born on the 28th of February 1834. He was given a thorough musical education, and having determined to adopt the career of a singer, he went in 1855 to Milan and studied under Gaetano Nava. He had a fine baritone voice, and while in Italy he began singing small parts in opera. In 1857 he returned to London, and on 16th November made his first appearance in the part of Adam in The Creation at St Martin's Hall. In 1858, after appearing in January in The Creation, he sang the title-part in Elijah in March, both at Exeter Hall. In 1859 he sang at Covent Garden as Hoel in the opera Dinorah, and in 1862 he appeared in Italian opera in // Trovatore. He was then engaged by Mapleson for Her Majesty's, and his regular connexion with the English operatic stage only ceased in 1870, when he sang as Vanderdecken in The Flying Dutchman. His last appearance in opera was in the same part with the Carl Rosa Company at the Lyceum Theatre in 1876. Meanwhile, in 1861 he sang Elijah at the Birmingham Festival, and in 1862 was engaged for the Handel Festival at the Crystal Palace. At the musical festivals and on the concert stage his success was immense. In such songs as " To Anthea," " Simon the Cellarer " or " Maid of Athens," he was unapproachable, and his oratorio singing carried on the finest traditions of his art. He was knighted in 1907. In 1858 Santley married Gertrude Kemble, and their daughter, Edith Santley, had a great success as a concert singer.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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