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Dame Emma Albani (1847–1930) by Walery, pubd 1889 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Albani [married name Gye], Dame Emma [née Marie Louise Cécile Emma Lajeunesse] (1847–1930), singer, was born on 1 November 1847 at Chambly, Quebec, Canada, one of three surviving children of Joseph Lajeunesse, organist, and his wife, Mélina Mignault (d. 1856)...

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E. M. Clerke

revised by John Rosselli

Albertazzi, Emma (1815–1847), singer, was born on 1 May 1815 and baptized at St John the Evangelist, Westminster on 31 March 1822, the daughter of Francis Howson (1784–1863), a music teacher, and his wife Sarah née Tanner (bap. 1796, d...

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(Maria Caterina) Rosalbina Caradori- Allan (1800–1865) by John Hayter, pubd 1827 [as Cresea in Medea in Corinto by Simone Mayr] © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Allan, (Maria Caterina) Rosalbina Caradori- [Carradori-] (1800–1865), singer, was born in Milan. Her father, Baron de Munck, was an Alsatian and a colonel in the French army. Her mother, whose maiden name, Carradori, she adopted (and always so spelt in Italy), came from ...

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Allen, Henry Robinson (c. 1809–1876), singer, teacher, and composer, was born in Cork around 1809, the son of William Allen, gentleman. In Cork he studied music with a Mr Shaw, organist of St Peter’s Church, where he attracted attention as a boy soprano. At fourteen he was apprenticed to ...

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Austin, Frederick William (Frederic) (1872–1952), singer, composer, and impresario, was born on 30 March 1872 at 40 Hind Street, Poplar, London, the elder son of William Austin (1844–1922), hosier, and his wife, Elizabeth Emily, née Hunt (1847–1924). Although born in ...

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Austral, Florence (1892–1968), singer, was born Florence Mary Wilson on 26 April 1892 in Richmond, a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria (the same suburb in which Dame Nellie Melba had been born in 1861), the daughter of a Swede, Wilhelm Lindholm, who had emigrated to ...

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Florence Austral (1892–1968), by Howard Barron, 1947

Collection of the National Portrait Gallery, Australia. https://www.portrait.gov.au/portraits/2007.52/florence-austral/ © The Estate of Howard Barron

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Booth, (Leslie) Webster (1902–1984), singer, was born on 21 January 1902 at 157 Soho Road, Handsworth, Staffordshire, the sixth and youngest child of Edwin Booth (1866–1949), hairdresser, and his wife, Sarah, née Webster (1860–1942). A talented treble, in ...

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Brannigan, Owen (1908–1973), singer, was born on 10 March 1908 at 76 Jubilee Terrace, Annitsford, Northumberland, the son of Owen Brannigan (1876–1955) and his wife Sarah Catherine, née Connelly (1881–1921), both local-born children of Irish immigrants. The village was home to many families of Irish descent, most of whom had come to work in the nearby coal mines. ...

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Coates, Edith Mary (1905–1983), singer and actress, was born on 31 May 1905 at 5 Ashlin Grove, Lincoln, the daughter of Percy Coates, commercial traveller and watch repairer, and his wife Eleanor, née Allen. Having studied at Trinity College of Music, London, with ...

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Coates, John (1865–1941), singer, was born on 29 June 1865 at 1 Girlington Road, Manningham, Bradford, the son of Richard Coates (1839–1877), plumber’s bookkeeper, and his wife Elizabeth, née Leach. Gifted intellectually as a boy, Coates attended Bradford Grammar School from the age of eight. His father was a passionate amateur musician who directed the ...

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Collier, Marie Elizabeth (1927–1971), singer, was born on 16 April 1927 in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia, the daughter of Thomas Robinson Collier (1894–1962), an employee of Victorian Railways who won the Military Cross and Bar during World War I, and his wife, ...

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Marie Collier (1927–1971), by P. Felix, 1965

© Getty Images

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Craig, Charles James (1919–1997), singer, was born on 3 December 1919 at the Shoreditch Infirmary, 204 Hoxton Street, Shoreditch, London, the fifteenth and youngest child of James George Craig (1877–1932), general labourer, and his wife Ann Rosina (Annie), née Gardner (...

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Green, Martyn [real name William Martin Green] (1899–1975), actor and singer, was born on 22 April 1899 at 42 Pennard Road, Shepherd’s Bush, London, the third of four children of William Green (1868–1920), concert tenor, and his wife, Sarah Ann, ...

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Howard, Ann [real name Ann Pauline Giles, née Swadling] (1934–2014), singer, was born on 22 July 1934 at 90 Knollys Road, Streatham, London, the only child of William Alfred Swadling (1903–1985), electrical engineer, and his wife (Gladys) Winifred, née Howell...

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Kohn, Sir Ralph (1927–2016), pharmacologist, singer, and philanthropist, was born in Leipzig on 9 December 1927, the fifth and last child of Marcus (Max) Kohn (1889–1971), textile dealer, and his wife, Lena, née Aschheim (1891–1978). His father had been born in ...

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Langdon, Michael [real name Frank Birtles] (1920–1991), singer, was born on 12 November 1920 at 13 Wolverhampton Road, Heath Town, Wolverhampton, the only child of Henry Birtles (1867–1931), licensed victualler, and his wife, Violet Mary, née Price (1881–1966...