Wilson, John (Scottish singer)
- Katherine K. Preston
(b Edinburgh, Dec 25, 1800; d Quebec City, July 9, 1849). Scottish tenor. He studied with Lanza and Crivelli, and made his operatic début in Edinburgh (March 1830); subsequently he was very successful at Covent Garden and Drury Lane. His American début (15 October 1838) was with the National Theatre, New York, and he then toured for 20 highly successful months with Jane Shirreff, performing in New York, Boston, Providence, Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia and Charleston. He returned to London in May 1840. Wilson and Shirreff were the most successful English singers to perform in the USA in the late 1830s and early 1840s; they helped to cultivate further the growing American taste for opera. One of the most successful 19th-century performers of Scottish song, Wilson published an Edition of the Songs of Scotland in 1842. He returned to North America for another tour in ...