Santley, Sir Charles

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Santley, Sir Charles

Santley, Sir Charles , noted English baritone; b. Liverpool, Feb. 28, 1834; d. Hove, near London, Sept. 22, 1922. He studied with Nava in Milan, making his operatic debut as Dr. Grenville in La Traviata in Pavia (1857); then continued his training with Garcia in London, where he sang for the first time as Adam in Haydn’s Creation on Nov. 16, 1857. His British operatic debut followed as Hoël in Dinorah at Covent Garden in a production mounted by the Pyne-Harrison Co. (Oct. 1, 1859); he continued to sing with the company until 1863, creating many roles in English operas under its auspices. In 1862 he appeared with the Royal Italian Opera at Covent Garden; that same year he became a member of Mapleson’s company at Her Majesty’s Theatre, winning renown for his portrayal of Valentine in 1863; he left the company in 1870. After singing at the Gaiety Theatre and touring in the U.S. as a concert artist (1871), he sang with the Carl Rosa Opera Co. (1875–77); subsequently devoted himself to oratorio and concert appearances. He sang in Australia (1889–90) and again in the U.S. (1891). On May 23, 1911, he made his farewell appearance at Covent Garden but came out of retirement in 1915 to sing at a concert for Belgian war refugees. In 1887 he was made a Commander of the Order of St. Gregory by Pope Leo XIII, and in 1907 he was knighted by King Edward VII. His publ. some songs under the pseudonym Ralph Betterton; he also pubi. Student and Singer (London, 1892; reminiscences), The Singing Master (2 parts, London, 1900), The Art of Singing and Vocal Declamation (London, 1908), and Reminiscences of My Life (London, 1909).


J. Levien, Sir C. S. (London, 1930).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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Santley, Sir Charles

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