The Library of Nineteenth-Century Photography

Ada Crossley

Ada Crossley

A cabinet card portrait of the Australian singer Ada Crossley (1874-1929).

Born Ada Jemima Crossley, the daughter of a farmer, she was sent to Melbourne to be trained, where she studied under Madame Fanny Simonsen for singing, and under Alberto Zelman the elder for piano and harmony.

Her first appearance was with the Philharmonic Society at Melbourne in 1892. She sang frequently in Melbourne in 1893 at concerts and in oratorio, and was the principal contralto at the Australian Church. In 1894 she went to Europe and studied under Mathilde Marchesi for voice production, and under Charles Santley for oratorio work. Her first appearance in London was at the Queen's Hall on 18 May 1895, when she had an immediate success. For many years she held a leading place at music festivals and on the concert platform, and she gave five command performances before Queen Victoria in two years. She was also successful in America, and on returning to Australia in 1904 her tour was a series of triumphs.

She also visited South Africa, and her second tour in Australia in 1908 was again very successful. She sang regularly at English festivals until 1913 but retired a few years later, though she made occasional appearances for charity. In 1905 she married Mr Francis Muecke CBE FRCS. There were no children. She died at London after a short illness on 17 October 1929.

Photographed by Elliott and Fry of 55 Baker Street, London.


Code: 123575
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