Reeves, (John) Sims

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Reeves, (John) Sims

Reeves, (John) Sims , English tenor; b. Shooter’s Hill, Kent, Sept. 26, 1818; d. Worthing, London, Oct. 25, 1900. He learned to play several instruments, and had lessons with J. B. Cramer (piano) and W. H. Callcott (harmony). He made his debut as a baritone in Guy Mannering in Newcastle upon Tyne (Dec. 14, 1838); also studied further and sang minor tenor roles at London’s Drury Lane (1841–13) and studied in Paris under Bordogni and in Milan under Mazzucato, appearing at La Scala in 1846 as Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor. He sang Faust in the first British performance of Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faust under the composer’s direction (1848), then was a member of Her Majesty’s Theatre in London (from 1848); also sang at the leading festivals. He retired in 1891, but reappeared in concerts in 1893. He made a successful tour of South Africa in 1896. He publ. Sims Reeves; His Life and Recollections Written by Himself (London, 1888), My Jubilee, or Fifty Years of Artistic Life (London, 1889), and Sims Reeves on the Art of Singing (London, 1900).


H. Edwards, The Life and Artistic Career of S. R. (London, 1881); C. Pearce, S. R.: Fifty Years of Music in England (London, 1924).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire