Sir Charles Santley (1834–1922), the English baritone whose career spanned more than fifty years, embracing both the operatic and concert stages, ranked among the foremost singers of his generation. After studying in Italy, he returned to England, where he was soon in great demand on the concert platform and in operatic roles, singing with the Pyne-Harrison, Mapleson and Carl Rosa opera companies, the Sacred Harmonic Society, the Philharmonic Society, and at the major English music festivals. His name is linked inseparably with the lavish Handel festivals at the Crystal Palace, and with the prophet in Mendelssohn's great oratorio Elijah. Santley's memoirs, first published in 1892 and reissued here in the third edition of that year, concentrate almost exclusively on his operatic career (a further volume on his concert experiences had been planned). His genial and informative anecdotes underpin the overriding message that hard work and perseverance win the day.
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