Opera Scotland

Sonnambula 1869Corri's Grand English Opera Company

Read more about the opera Sonnambula

Throughout the nineteenth century Sonnambula was almost as popular a work as its successor, Norma.  In recent years two other of Bellini's works, I Capuleti and I Puritani, have overtaken it in frequency of performance.


Dundee Advertiser: Friday, 2 April 1869  (p4)

English Opera in the Theatre Royal - La Sonnambula

'Yesterday evening, Bellini’s fascinating opera, La Sonnambula, was performed in the Dundee Theatre Royal, to an audience which, we are glad to say, was both numerous and fashionable. The side boxes were crowded nearly to discomfort, and the passages along the back furnished standing room for those who could not find seats. The stalls, however, were not so full as they ought to have been; while the gallery was well filled by an assemblage – for the most part of our fashionable youth – who seemed to appreciate the best parts of the opera to the full, if we may judge from their hearty and discriminating applause.

'Madlle Gilliess, as Amina, sang the music of her part to perfection, though it may perhaps be remarked that, as regards appearance, there are other characters in which she appears to greater advantage. Notably that of Lucrezia Borgia, in which she appears to-night. It is a curious circumstance, and one regarding which we have compared noted with some who have been present at all the performances, that each night Madlle Gilliess has been thought to sing more splendidly than before, and certainly last night the plaudits she received were still more enthusiastic than on the first two nights of the week. In the grand scene of the second act, where she is spurned by her lover and abandoned by her friends – a scene which it will be remembered was given some years ago by the Philharmonic and St Cecilia Society – she was particularly effective; her performance being characterised by great tragic as well as vocal power. At the close of the third act, to which she did full justice, Madlle Gilliess surpassed herself by the brilliance with which she rendered the concluding air, ‘O do not mingle,’ and evoked a storm of applause such as has rarely awakened the echoes of the Dundee Theatre. It is needless to say she was called for at the end of each act and loudly applauded.

'Mr Parkinson performed Elvino with his accustomed taste and expression – taking, however ‘Still so gently’ a little too quickly in our opinion – and Mr Haydn Corri made a very modest and dignified Count Rodolpho. Miss Kate Villiers, as Lisa, was sprightly and pleasing, and gave her opening cavatina ‘Sounds so joyful,’ with true artistic expression.

'To-night, as mentioned above, the opera is Lucrezia Borgia, and to-morrow it will be Faust.'

Performance Cast

Lisa proprietor of the inn

Kate Villiers (Apr 1)

Elvino a prosperous young villager

William Parkinson (Apr 1)

Amina an orphan, raised by Teresa

Ida Gilliess (Apr 1)

Count Rodolfo an aristocrat returning from travel

Haydn Corri (Apr 1)

Production Cast


John Pew (Apr 1)


Samuel Beazley

Performance DatesSonnambula 1869

Map List

Theatre Royal, Aberdeen | Aberdeen

6 Mar, 19.45

Theatre Royal, Dundee | Dundee

1 Apr, 19.30

Corn Exchange Hall, Kilmarnock | Kilmarnock

20 Apr, 19.30

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