Sainton-Dolby, Charlotte Helen



English contralto singer and composer, who was born in London. She entered the Royal Academy of Music in 1832, where she remained for five years, studying under J. Bennett, Elliott and Crivelli, gaining, in 1837, the King's scholarship. Miss Dolby made her first public appearance in London in 1840 and the next year sang at a Philharmonic concert with great success. Her voice was greatly admired by Mendelssohn, who obtained an engagement for her, in 1846, at the Gewandhaus concerts at Leipsic. To her he dedicated his six songs, and he also wrote the contralto arias in Elijah especially for her, and she appeared in this and other oratorios for several years with great success. It was as a ballad singer, however, that Miss Dolby excelled. She married M. Prosper Sainton in 1860, and from that time until 1870, when she retired, she appeared at all the important concerts in Great Britain and went on concert tours to France and Holland. Her voice was a contralto of great power and her enunciation was declared perfect. In 1872 she established in London a singing academy, where many vocalists of note have been trained. Mme. SaintonDolby made her last appearance in public at her husband's farewell concert in 1883, two years before her death. She composed several works of more than ordinary merit, including the cantatas, The Legend of St. Dorothea, and The Story of the Faithful Soul; a number of songs, among them Bonnie Dundee, and My Donald; and was the author of a practical work on the art of singing.