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Crossley, Ada Jemima (1871 - 1929)

3 March 1871
Tarraville, Victoria, Australia
17 October 1929
Woodlands Park, Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, England
Alternative Names
  • Muecke, Ada (married name, 11 April 1905 - )


Contralto singer Madame Ada Crossley studied piano under Mrs Hastings of Port Albert and later Signor Zelman. She then sang with Madame Fanny Simonsen of Melbourne. Prior to leaving Australia in March 1894, to study in Europe, she gave farewell concerts in Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide. With Percy Grainger a member of her entourage, she toured Australia and New Zealand, returning to England via South Africa (1903-1904). Crossley returned to Australia for a series of concerts in 1908-1909. Once again Grainger was a supporting artist. During the First World War she sang at benefit concerts. After the war she reduced her professional engagements. Ada Crossley died on 17 October 1929 at Woodlands Park, Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire.



November 1889
Performed with the third Philharmonic Subscription Concert at the Melbourne town hall
January 1892
Debuted in Sydney
March 1894
Left Australia to study with (Sir) Charles Santley in London and later in Paris with Madame Marchesi
May 1895
Made her London debut at the Queen's Hall
1902 - 1903
Toured the United States of America, during which she recorded for the Victor Gramophone Companies Red Seal Celebrity series
She claimed a repertoire of 500 sacred songs and ballads, ranging from Gluck and Handel to Richard Strauss, and she sang in English, German, French, Italian, Norwegian, Danish and Russian
September 1903 - February 1904
Engaged by J C Williamson to visit Australia and New Zealand, she returned to England via South Africa
11 April 1905
Married Dr Francis Frederick (1879-1945), throat specialist,
1908 - 1909
Revisited Australia

Sources used to compile this entry: Missen, Margery, 'Crossley, Ada Jemima (1871 - 1929)', in Australian Dictionary of Biography Online, Australian National University, 2006,; Johns's Notable Australians 1906, p.53.

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