Ellen Shirley as Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance

Ellen Shirley (1880-81)

[Born 1860]

Ellen Shirley was understudy to principal sopranos Marion Hood and Leonora Braham at the Opera Comique and, perhaps, the Savoy. She appeared as "one muta persona" in the Desprez & Cellier curtain raiser In the Sulks in 1880, and assumed the part of Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance for a time in January 1881 when Miss Hood left the Company. She also filled in briefly for Miss Braham as Patience in Patience in October 1881.

A bit of an artist, her drawing of Gilbert, Sullivan, and Carte, captioned "The Electric Lights of the Savoy," appeared in The Era Almanack for 1882. Her younger sister was Jessie Shirley, also a soprano, who sang briefly on tour with the D'Oyly Carte in 1884.

Page modified July 25, 2008© 2001-08 David Stone