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SANTLEY, Sir Charles (1834-1922)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 1249 MS 6911
Held at: Royal College of Music
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Full title: SANTLEY, Sir Charles (1834-1922)
Date(s): 1842, 1882-1894
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 1 file (8 items)
Name of creator(s): Santley | Sir | Charles | 1834-1922 | Knight | singer


Administrative/Biographical history:

Sir Charles Santley, born Liverpool, 28 Feb 1834, son of William Santley, a music teacher; sang as a chorister and an amateur singer; studied with Gaetano Nava, Milan, 1855; made his debut at Pavia in 1857 as Dr Grenvil in La traviata; made his first professional English appearance at St Martin's Hall, London, singing Adam in Haydn's Creation, 16 November 1857; thereafter enjoyed a successful career as a baritone, appearing in major opera productions in England, Italy, Spain and the USA; after 1877 he was heard only in concert and oratorio; made Commander of St Gregory by Pope Leo XIII, 1887; celebrated his golden jubilee as a singer at the Royal Albert Hall, 1 May 1907; knighted, 1907; made his farewell appearance at Covent Garden, 23 May 1911; emerged from retirement to sing at the Mansion House, London, in a concert in aid of Belgian refugees, 1915; died London, 22 Sept 1922. Publications: Method of Instruction for a Baritone Voice, edited by G Nava (London, c1872); Student and Singer (London, 1892, 1893); Santley's Singing Master (London, c1895); The Art of Singing and Vocal Declamation (London, 1908); Reminiscences of my Life (London, 1909). Santley wrote a number of religious works for the Roman Catholic Church, and also composed several songs under the pseudonym of Ralph Betterton.


Scope and content/abstract:

Letters (6) to Charles Santley, 1882-1894, including invitation to participate in the Duke of Edinburgh's concert in aid of funds for the Royal College of Music (with Santley's draft letter of declining), Apr 1882; invitation from George Grove for Santley to teach male vocalists at the RCM, Aug 1882; from Arthur Sullivan, requesting a score, Nov 1885; from W S Gilbert, advising that Santley's son be appraised by Sullivan rather than himself in regard to a part at the Savoy Theatre, London, Feb 1894. The collection also includes a contract for John Benje at the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden, London, Apr 1842.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Conditions governing access:

Usual conditions of the Library of the Royal College of Music apply. See the RCM website or contact the RCM Library for details.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Photocopying is permitted at the discretion of the Archivist for research purposes only.

Finding aids:

The collection is catalogued in the 'Provisional catalogue of letters in the RCM library' by J Kersey, 1997, vol 1; an entry is also given in the supplement to volume 3 of the Manuscripts catalogue in the library of the Royal College of Music.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Presented to the RCM by Mrs Antonio Brosa, grand-daughter of Sir Charles Santley, 30 Oct 1979.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Liverpool Record Office holds Santley's correspondence and papers, 1841-1919 (Ref: 920SAN).

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Compiled by Robert Baxter as part of the RSLP AIM25 Project. Source: article by Harold Rosenthal and George Biddlecombe, Grove Dictionary of Music.

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
Nov 2001

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