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Cecilia Young (also Cecilia Arne) (January 1712 – 6 October 1789) was one of the greatest English sopranos of the eighteenth century, the wife of composer Thomas Arne, and the mother of composer Michael Arne. According to music historian Charles Burney, she had "a good natural voice and a fine shake had been so well taught, that her style of singing was infinitely superior to that of any other English woman of her time". She was part of a well-known English family of musicians that included several professional singers and organists. Young enjoyed a large amount of success through her close association with George Frideric Handel. She appeared in several of his oratorios and operas including the premieres of Ariodante (1735), Alcina (1735), Alexander's Feast (1736) and Saul (1739).
Cecilia Young was born in London sometime during January 1712 and was baptised on the following 7 February. Born into the well known Young family of musicians, both her father, Charles Young, and his brother, Anthony Young, were well known organists and minor composers. The eldest of four, Cecilia's younger sisters, Isabella and Esther, were also successful singers. Although her younger brother Charles was a clerk at the Treasury and not a professional musician, his daughters Isabella, Elizabeth, and Polly followed in the foot steps of their aunts to become successful singers.
Young's earliest musical studies were under her father but she eventually became a pupil of Francesco Geminiani. She made her professional singing debut in a series of concerts during March 1730. She made her opera debut two years later in a production by John Frederick Lampe, her brother-in-law, and J. S. Smith. She appeared in several more of their operas over the next two years. Through her association with Lampe, Young met the young composer and her future husband Thomas Arne. She appeared in his first opera Rosamund on 7 March 1733.