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John Coates

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Category: Music - Classical
Reference No: 3843
Status: Available
Price: £15.00
  John Coates

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Great English tenor, who sang in opera and oratorio and on the concert platform.

Coates’ repertoire ranged from Bach and Purcell to contemporary works and included the major heldentenor roles in Wagner's operas.

He toured Europe, America, Canada, Australia and South Africa but spent the bulk of his time in Britain and was a beloved figure at England's regional music festivals. Elgar's Dream of Gerontius was one of his specialties. After 1921, he limited his performances to the concert stage and recitals, still performing a wide-ranging repertoire but championing English composers.

He later years were clouded by a dispute with the Performing Rights Society. He couldn’t see why he should pay for the right to perform music that had only been accepted for publication because he had first performed it in manuscript form. He lost the case and it preyed on his mind for years after.

In the 1920s Coates worked with the young accompanist, Gerald Moore, then at the very start of his career. In his memoirs Moore paid tribute to Coates, a hard taskmaster who transformed him from being a mediocre accompanist into one of the world’s greatest.

Coates was at Bradford Grammar School about the same time as one Frederick Delius.

This is a very early vintage sepia postcard of the young John Coates, signed across the image in pencil. Part of Coates' surname runs into a darker area of the image but, thanks to the shiny graphite of the pencil, readability of the signature is better than it might otherwise have been. Overall condition is very good.