Opera Scotland

William O'Connor Suggest updates

Born Liverpool, c1878.

Died London, 28 November 1955.

English-born Irish tenor.

William O'Connor had a long and successful career as an operatic tenor that extended to over 100 roles with several of the leading British companies. He grew up in his parents' home town of Ennis, Co. Clare. His operatic career began in 1899, when he joined the Elster-Grime company. After a period in which he rose to company principal, he left to join Carl Rosa. The season 1909-10 was spent at Covent Garden. His repertoire ranged widely through character and leading roles. He sang both Duke of Mantua and Manrico, as well as major parts in the British repertoire - Myles-na-Copaleen (The Lily of Killarney), Count Rupert (Satanella) and Gringoire (Esmeralda).

During the First World War he served on the Western Front, surviving both wounding and gassing. He managed his own company for three years after the war. He also worked outside the field of opera, joining George Robey's company for tours to both South Africa and Canada. At the end of his career he rejoined the Carl Rosa company to sing several character parts. He retired in 1944.

Source - various obituaries.

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