Ada Crossley

Rotary Photo Co. Ltdc. 1900

National Portrait Gallery

National Portrait Gallery
Canberra, Australia

Ada Crossley (1874–1929) opera singer, was born in Tarraville, Victoria, the daughter of English emigrants. Reputed to have known the rudiments of music before she could read, she was ‘discovered’ at age 14 and sent to Melbourne for expert singing tuition. She left for Europe in 1894, studying first with Sir Charles Santley in London and then in Paris with Mathilde Marchesi, who considered her one of her best pupils. She made her London debut in May 1895 and thereafter was regularly engaged to perform in concerts and festivals throughout Britain. She made a successful tour of the USA in 1902 and was then engaged by JC Williamson to visit Australia and New Zealand. Composer and pianist Percy Grainger, who accompanied Crossley on her Australian tours, recalled her as possessing ‘a glorious voice and rare interpretive gifts in every style of music that she essayed’. She retired from professional singing in 1913 and for the remainder of her life lived in England with her husband, Frederick Muecke, an Adelaide-born doctor.


  • Title: Ada Crossley
  • Creator: Rotary Photo Co. Ltd
  • Date Created: c. 1900
  • Physical Dimensions: image: 13.6 x 8.8 cm
  • Provenance: Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra Gift of Roger Neill 2009
  • Rights: https://www.portrait.gov.au/form-image-request.php
  • External Link: https://www.portrait.gov.au/portraits/2009.19
  • Medium: Gelatin silver photograph on card

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