Henry Theodore Reinhold

(c. 1690—1751) singer

Show Summary Details

Quick Reference

(d London, 14 May 1751). English bass of German descent. His origins are obscure; he named his second son Theodore Chriestlieb and may well have been related to the Dresden organist and composer Theodor Christlieb Reinhold. He was second bass (Mercury) in G. F. Handel's Atalanta in May 1736 and the sole bass the following season, when he sang in the premières of Arminio, Giustino and Berenice. Later in 1737 he created the comic role of the Dragon in John Frederick Lampe's The Dragon of Wantley, which received 68 performances in its first season. His other English stage roles included Sir Trusty in Thomas Arne's Rosamond and the Lion in Lampe's Pyramus and Thisbe. In Handel's two seasons at Lincoln's Inn Fields Theatre (1739–41) he sang Polyphemus in Acis and Galatea (‘O ruddier than the cherry’ became a song he performed at theatre benefits) and created the bass parts in L’Allegro and Handel's last two operas, Imeneo (1740) and Deidamia (1741). While continuing to sing English stage music, he became the composer's principal oratorio bass from 1743, when he created the role of Harapha in Samson and sang in the first London performance of Messiah. Between 1744 and Reinhold's death Handel wrote parts for him in a number of oratorios, including Joseph and his Brethren, Hercules, Belshazzar, the Occasional Oratorio, Judas Maccabaeus, Joshua, Alexander Balus, Susanna, Solomon and Theodora. He was one of the ‘good Set of Singers’ Handel wrote of having for Belshazzar, and the composer entrusted him with substantial roles and a wide range of characterizations. The compass of most of his oratorio parts is from G to e’.


From The Grove Book of Opera Singers in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Opera.

Reference entries

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.