Opera Scotland

Henry Corri Suggest updates

Born 1822.

Died Dulwich, 28 February 1888.

English bass, conductor and manager.

Henry Corri was descended from several generations of musicians. He worked for many years at Covent Garden, singing in a number of premieres including Quentin Durward (Laurent 1848), Satanella (Balfe 1858), Victorine (Mellon 1859), and creating the role of Zelieck in Wallace's Lurline (1860) for the Pyne-Harrison management. Other appearances at Covent Garden included Balfe's The Bondman, The Bohemian Girl, and The Enchantress as well as Auber's Haydée, all in 1848 alone.

For a number of years he ran the Grand English Opera Company in which he and his younger brother Haydn (1845-76) sang many of the bass and baritone roles. He married the company's prima donna, the Scottish soprano Ida Ghita Gilliess, and their daughter, Ghita Auber Corri (1870-1937) was a member of the Carl Rosa company as well as herself being a composer of songs.

The operatic impresario's life was never easy, and Corri's Scottish tour of 1869 must have been a peculiarly exciting one. The Edinburgh Gazette of 12 January lists under the section on 'Scotch Bankruptcies' a sequestration against Henry Corri, operatic vocalist, formerly of the Royal English Opera Company, Covent Garden, now manager and sole partner of the English Opera Company, Operetta House. However when he appeared in court in Edinburgh for an Examination for Bankruptcy on 29 January, he was able to satisfy the authorities of his solvency and the case was dropped. Whether he made a more conventional theatrical appearance in Edinburgh at this time is to be established. Happily, by April, in Dundee, his affairs seem to have prospered once more, to the extent that he was able to marry his leading soprano, who now began to sing as Madame Corri-Gillies.

Roles in Scotland

Figaro a barber
Barbiere di Siviglia 1869
Barbiere di Siviglia 1870
Don Magnifico Baron of Montefiascone
Cenerentola 1869
Cenerentola 1870
Plunkett a wealthy young farmer
Martha 1869
Martha 1870
Caspar a forester
Freischütz 1869
Don José de Santarem
Maritana 1869
Charles II King of Spain
Maritana 1869
Don Ruy Gomez da Silva a Spanish grandee, Elvira's guardian
Ernani 1869
Ernani 1870
Enrico Lord Henry Ashton
Lucia di Lammermoor 1869
Lucia di Lammermoor 1870
Oroveso Archdruid, father of Norma
Norma 1869
Norma 1870
Méphistophélès the devil
Faust 1869
Don Alfonso d'Este Duke of Ferrara, Lucrezia's fourth husband
Lucrezia Borgia 1869
Lucrezia Borgia 1870
Devilshoof leader of the gypsies
Bohemian Girl 1870
Lord Cockburn a British tourist
Fra Diavolo 1870
Don Giovanni a young nobleman
Don Giovanni 1870
Don Pedro Elvira's uncle, a conspirator
Rose of Castille 1870
Zelieck a Gnome, Rhineberg's slave
Lurline 1870

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