t h e   r o s a   t r o u p e

Edith Santley

Edith SantleyThe names of Santley and Rosa are usually linked through the association of the famous baritone Charles Santley with the company but another Santley also sang with the Rosa company. Edith Santley was the daughter of the celebrated Charles and Gertrude Kemble, a soprano from a famous theatrical family. Edith, born about 1860, unsurprisingly had vocal aspirations and was also an accomplished pianist. Her stage debut when she was about sixteen was presumably an arrangement between Carl and Santley.
Her debut at Liverpool’s Royal Amphitheatre on 13 January 1876 was followed by appearances at Manchester Sheffield and Carlisle with a final appearance at Birmingham’s Theatre Royal a few months later on 19 May. She appeared in ten performances in the minor roles of Angelina in The Water Carrier and the bridesmaid in Der Freischütz. All were under the watchful eye of her father who shared the stage with her.
This seems to have been her only acquaintance with opera as further vocal training seems to have been followed by the concert platform. Her mother died in 1882 and two years later she married the Hon. R. H. Lyttleton and this effectively brought her professional career to an end. They moved to Warwick where she was active in the musical life of the town, occasionally singing at charity concerts. She continued in this vein when they returned to the London at the turn of the century and she was a very busy lady during the first world war. She died at her home in St John’s Wood on 14 February 1926. 

© 2017 John Ward

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