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Lucy Escott

1827 – 1895

Henry Squires (1825-1907), tenor, and Lucy Escott (c. 1827-1895), soprano, were members of William Saurin Lyster's touring opera company. Squires and Escott were both American-born and had spent the 1850s performing in the USA, Italy and Britain before being engaged by Lyster for a six month Australian tour which commenced in March 1861. Lyster's company was soon a favourite with audiences, the singers performing six nights a week in a repertoire of operas in Italian, German and English. Squires was said by some to lack animation in his acting, but he was greatly admired for his stage presence and the quality of his voice. Escott was the company's prima donna and headline act, touted as 'a vocalist and actress of the very first order of merit, possessing a voice and a power of execution equal to that of the most celebrated artistes.' The tour turned into an eight year stay during which Lyster's company gave around 1300 performances. Squires and Escott performed the lead roles in many of these and are said to have almost equalled Nellie Melba in making opera a form of mass entertainment in Australia. After nearly twenty years of performing together, Squires and Escott married in May 1870 and retired to Paris. Squires returned to the USA following Escott's death in December 1895 and died in Iowa in January 1907.

Updated 2018