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Words by William Shakespeare.
Dedicated to Sims Reeves.
Published by Metzler & Co., 1866.
Sigh No More, Ladies, Balthazar's song from Much Ado about Nothing, is one of a set of five 'Shakespeare Songs' which Sullivan composed during 1863 and 1864. The others are Orpheus with his Lute, O Mistress Mine, Rosalind and The Willow Song.Sullivan sold these songs to the publisher for five guineas each but it did not take him long to discover this was a mistake and that if he were paid for songs on a royalty basis, he could increase his income from them substantially.
Hermann Klein wrote about Sims Reeves in 1903:
I first heard him sing at the Norwich Festival of 1866, when he took part in Costa's oratorio Naaman. His voice was then still in its prime. A more exquisite illustration of what is termed the true Italian tenor quality it would be impossible to imagine; and this delicious sweetness, this rare combination of "velvety" richness with ringing timbre, he retained in diminishing volume almost to the last.
It is probable that Sims Reeves lost more money through unfulfilled engagements than any other singer that ever lived. He himself computed the total amount thus eliminated from his banking account, during a career of half a century, at £80,000. An eighth of this sum would have sufficed to spare him the rigid economy and the necessity of music-hall work which marred the closing years of his existence.
Page Created 13 May 2004