Coates, John, English tenor; b. Girlington, Yorkshire, June 29, 1865; d. Northwood, Middlesex, Aug. 16, 1941. He studied with his uncle, J.G. Walton, at Bradford. He sang as a small boy at a Bradford church. He began serious study in 1893, and took lessons with William Shakespeare in London. He sang baritone parts in Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, making his debut at the Savoy Theatre in London in Utopia Limited (1894); toured in the U.S. with a Gilbert and Sullivan company. He made his debut in grand opera as Faust at London’s Covent Garden (1901); also sang Lohengrin in Cologne and other German cities with considerable success; later sang nearly all the Wagner roles in English with the Moody-Manners Co., the Carl Rosa Co., and with Beecham (1910); from 1911 to 1913 he toured with Quinlan’s opera company in Australia and South Africa. He served in the British army during World War I; in 1919, he returned to London, devoting himself chiefly to teaching; he also gave recitals of songs by English composers. In 1926-27 he made a concert tour of the U.S.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire