Charlotte Sainton-Dolby


Charlotte Sainton-Dolby Famous memorial

Soho, City of Westminster, Greater London, England
Death 18 Feb 1885 (aged 63)
Marylebone, City of Westminster, Greater London, England
Burial Highgate, London Borough of Camden, Greater London, England
Memorial ID 10587 View Source

Opera Singer. She received fame as a British contralto during the 19th century. From 1832 to 1837, she studied music under the instructions of Domenico Crivelli at the Royal Academy of Music. Born the daughter of Samuel Dolby and his wife Charlotte Niven, she was ten years old when her father died. In 1837 she was elected to a King's Scholarship and debuted at a Royal Philharmonic Society concert in 1841. In October 1845, she traveled to Germany where she met Felix Mendelssohn. After hearing her performance, Mendelssohn composed six arias in “Elijah” for her voice, but she did not perform in that piece until April of 1847 at Exeter Hall. In April of 1854 at the Hanover Square Rooms in London, she was the principal soloist in the first English performance of J.S. Bach's “St. Matthew Passion.” It is said that her voice was of fine quality and moderate power, but it was her dignified and artistic style that brought her much acclaim for many years. After receiving recognition throughout Europe as “Charlotte Dolby,” in 1860 she married French violinist Prosper Sainton, changed her surname to a hyphened name, and ten years later retired from her performing career. In 1872 she started a vocal academy in London, became a music instructor, and published a textbook, “Madame Sainton-Dolby's Tutor for English Singers (Ladies Voices): A Complete Course of Practical Instruction in the Art of Singing,” which is still in print. With some success, she composed cantatas: “The Legend of St. Dorothea” and “The Story of the Faithful Soul” in 1879, and “Florimel” in 1885. Her last public appearance was at her husband's farewell concert in June of 1883 at Albert Hall. In her honor, a scholarship in her memory was started at the Royal Academy of Music.

Bio by: Linda Davis

Family Members



In their memory
Plant Memorial Trees



How famous was Charlotte Sainton-Dolby?

Current rating:

14 votes

to cast your vote.

  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 9 Jul 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 10587
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Charlotte Sainton-Dolby (17 May 1821–18 Feb 1885), Find a Grave Memorial ID 10587, citing Highgate Cemetery West, Highgate, London Borough of Camden, Greater London, England ; Maintained by Find a Grave .