Forgotten Opera Singers

Forgotten Opera Singers

Aug 10, 2014

John Coates (Tenor) (Girlington, nr Bradford 1865 - Northwood, Middlesex 1941)

Like many heroic tenors, Coates began as a baritone. As an amateur he had a try-out with Carl Rosa as Valentin, but this led nowhere. In 1894, he joined the D’Oyly Carte organisation, and in 1896 sang the lead role of Reginald Fairfax in the touring production of the enormously successful Sidney Jones musical comedy The Geisha. He retired for a further period of study in which his voice settled as a tenor. He then appeared at Covent Garden in 1901 as Faust and created the role of Claudio in Much Ado About Nothing (Stanford). He toured in Germany 1902-7 by the end of which period he was singing several Wagner roles, including Siegfried and Tristan. On his return to the UK he joined the Moody-Manners and then the Denhof, Quinlan and Beecham companies. In 1909 at Her Majesty's Theatre in London, he sang Mark in the British stage premiere of The Wreckers by Ethel Smyth, conducted by Beecham. He toured the USA in 1926-7. He also maintained an extensive concert career, which included a performance of The Dream of Gerontius for the opening concert at Dundee’s Caird Hall in 1921.

Chronology of some appearances

1901 London Covent Garden Faust (Faust)
1902-1907 Germany Tour
1909 London Her Majesty's Theatre
1926-1927 USA Tour


G&T, London 1907-05
Gioconda (Ponchielli): Cielo e mar  052219 1917f

G&T, London 1907-07
Mefistofele (Boito): Dai campi 052220 2001f

Gramophone, London 1908-05
Mefistofele (Boito): Giunto sul passo estremo 052223 2455f

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