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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

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An international troupe of two

Lucy Escott and Henry Squires – operatic singers of international renown – followed one another around the globe for decades, before finally retiring in wedded bliss to France.

1 Lucy Escott, early 1860s. 2 Henry Squires, early 1860s. Both Dalton's Royal Photographic Gallery.

Lucy Escott and Henry Squires were darlings of the international opera scene in the nineteenth century. The professional paths of Lucy, a talented young soprano, and Henry, an almost equally talented tenor, continually crossed after they first performed together in the United States in 1851. Lucy departed America for Italy with her husband Richard to pursue her career; Henry arrived in Naples a year later in 1853. The Escotts moved to England in 1854, where Lucy joined the National Opera Company; Squires joined the company in 1857. The following year saw both return to America for new opportunities, and when they left for an Australian tour at the end of 1860, Richard did not accompany his wife. After eight years of hugely popular seasons in Australia, reportedly rivalling Nellie Melba in making opera a form of mass entertainment, Lucy and Henry returned to the US, where they married in 1870 and immediately retired to Paris.

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

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