Kemble, Adelaide


English opera singer and writer, of the famous theatrical family of that name; was the daughter of Charles Kemble, the sister of Fanny Kemble and the niece of Mrs. Siddons. She was born in London, and early showed signs of musical talent. Appeared first at a Concert of Ancient Music and a York Festival in 1835, with only moderate success.   She then went abroad and studied in Paris and Germany, and later in Italy, where for a year she was instructed by Pasta. In 1839 she made her operatic debut in Vienna, as Norma, with decided success. She then appeared in other Italian cities, and in 1841 returned to England, where she gave an English version of Norma and was received  enthusiastically by London society. Other operas in which she appeared successfully were The Marriage of Figaro, II Matrimonio Segreto, La Sonnambula, and Semiramide. In 1843 she married Mr. Edward Sartoris, retired from her brilliant stage career and took up the profession of letters, publishing a number of books. Chorley has called Adelaide Kemble " the greatest though not the best English singer of the century." Her power lay rather in her intellect than her voice, and according to her sister, her singing interfered with than aided her excellent acting.