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date: 23 September 2020

Johnstone, John locked

  • Olive Baldwin
  •  and Thelma Wilson


(b Kilkenny, ?1 Aug 1749; d London, Dec 26, 1828). Irish tenor and actor . After several years in a cavalry regiment he became a singer on the Dublin stage in 1775, playing Lionel in Lionel and Clarissa and other musical heroes. From October 1783 he sang in London, making his début again as Lionel, followed by Macheath, Lord Ainsworth (The Maid of the Mill) and Dermot in the première of Shield’s Irish opera, The Poor Soldier. He was tall, handsome, charming and a good actor. His upper voice, a very sweet falsetto, was much admired, but the transition to his lower voice was abrupt, and Haydn, hearing him in The Woodman (1791), found him most unmusical. With the coming of Incledon in 1790 he gradually lost his opera roles and became a specialist in the comic Irish parts in which, long before his retirement in ...

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