Marion Falvey was the younger daughter of Timothy Falvey and his first wife Bridget. Born in Macclesfield c.1842, Marion moved with the family to Southampton in 1848. She was a promising operatic singer. In 1861 - not yet twenty years old - she became a London pupil of Frederick Kingsbury, professor of the pianoforte and singing, sometime rentee of the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, joint manager of the National English Opera Company, and founder and director of the London Vocal Academy. Marion boarded, along with other pupils, at the Kingsbury residence: 18 Cecil Street, off the Strand in Westminster. She was accompanied - at the time of the 1861 census at least - by her sister Eliza. Four years older than Marion, she was perhaps acting as chaperon. A series of soirees musicales, directed by Kingsbury at his London residence, brought the young soprano to the notice of the metropolitan press. Held before select and fashionable audiences, the subscription concerts allowed his pupils to perform alongside more established performers, such as Allan Irving (the English bass who had performed on the New York stage in the 1850s), Loiusa Vinning (famed when young as 'the Infant Sappho') and Rose Hersee (an English soprano who later helped to found the Carl Rosa Opera Company). Marion made her debut at the second performance of the series, on 24 April 1861. The correspondent of The Era wrote that she "exhibited qualifications which justify the most sanguine hopes of a future career. A voice of excellent quality and extensive compass has been trained with great care, and the manner in which she rendered Molique's 'Beneath the Linden Tree', and the ballad 'When the Elves at Dawn do pass', thoroughly charmed the connoisseurs present. Her vocal gifts are enhanced by considerable personal advantages." The next performance was ruined by nerves, but she recovered for the fourth concert, in late May. She sang Mendelssohn's 'Slumber and Dream' with, according to The Era, "singular taste, artistic power, and expression". Quoting this review, the Hampshire Advertiser reported that she intended to devote herself to operatic singing.

The dream was not fulfilled. Despite continuing her training in Florence (both she and her sister were abroad when their step-mother Eliza died in November 1864), Marion never had a public career. Her appearances were limited to amateur concerts in Southampton. We know that she sang at one of Alexander Rowland's concerts in November 1867 and at the Philharmonic Rooms in February 1869, when she performed in both French and Italian - the latter piece "in a style which merited the encore she received". The Hampshire Advertiser had to print a retraction after advertising her as a "professional" vocalist in its preview of the original concert: "This lady's 'pursuits' are not, nor ever have been, 'professional'." Marion was away from Southampton in the early/mid 1860s: in Italy and, for a time, staying with the family of Richard Cobden - her father's great friend from the days of the Anti-Corn Law League - in Sussex: "a great acquisition to the family circle." In later years, Marion became part of the extended Falvey family in Southampton. Her sister Eliza had married Charles Sampson Payne - youngest son of Sampson Payne, a former mayor and political ally of her father - in October 1865. Marion and her widowed father shared their successive houses, Hurst House in Waterloo Road, Freemantle, 9 Portland Street and finally 7 Brunswick Place. Marion predeceased her father, dying after a long illness on 7 December 1880. Her sister had died four years earlier in March 1876. Both were aged 38 years. Marion is buried in Southampton Cemetery


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