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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.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Ada Crossley

c. 1900
Rotary Photo Co. Ltd

gelatin silver photograph on card (image: 13.6 cm x 8.8 cm)

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.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Roger Neill 2009

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. Works of art from the collection are reproduced as per the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). The use of images of works from the collection may be restricted under the Act. Requests for a reproduction of a work of art can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

Artist and subject

Rotary Photo Co. Ltd

Ada Jemima Crossley (age 29 in 1900)

Subject professions

Performing arts

Donated by

Roger Neill (3 portraits)

Related portraits

1. La Milo as Lady Godiva at Coventry, c. 1907. All Rotary Photo Co. Ltd.

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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.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

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