Frank Celli

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Frank Celli (1845-1904)[] was a British bass-baritone opera singer

Also found as Frank H. Celli


Born Francis Standing in London on 8 April 8, 1845. Though he did not initially receive much vocal training, he made a successful début as "Mat of the Mint" in The Beggar's Opera in 1862 (Marylebone Theatre, London), followed by other stage and concert work, and eventually in the 1860s a period of study with Hermine Rudersdorff, reinforced by a concert tour which he undertook with Carlotta Patti.

He had adopted the professional name Frank Celli (or Frank H. Celli) and his career as operatic singer blossomed, inter alia as a member of the Carl Rosa Company on its first seasons in London. Thereafter he turned to light opera, undertaking various international tours, notably touring the USA and Canada.

He was married Susan Pyne (sister of Louise Fanny Pyne, the British soprano)[], and was the father of the actress Faith Celli (1888–1942)[1] (born Dorothy Faith Standing).

Celli passed away in London on 27 December, 1904.

Contribution to SA theatre, film, media and/or performance

Celli visited South Africa in December of 1902, as a leading member of a Mouillot-De Jong Company that performed a season of musical comedy and light opera, ineter alia at the Opera House in Cape Town during December. The other leading singers were John le Hay and Katie Seymour, and the repertoire consisted of Morocco Bound (Branscombe), La Poupee (Ordonneau and Audran, in which Celli played "Father Maxime"), Dorothy (Cellier and Stephenson) and The West End (Dance and Arlise).


Harold Rosenthal. 2001. "Celli, Frank H." in Grove Music Online[2]

D.C. Boonzaier, 1923. "My playgoing days – 30 years in the history of the Cape Town stage", in SA Review, 9 March and 24 August 1923. (Reprinted in Bosman 1980: pp. 374-439.)

F.C.L. Bosman. 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1916. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: pp.

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