Opera Scotland

Ernani 1870Corri's Grand English Opera Company

Read more about the opera Ernani

For a few short years, Ernani seems to have been second in popularity only to Il trovatore among Verdi's dramatically tuneful output. Rigoletto and La traviata would soon overtake it.

Cast as reported in Dundee - further Scottish dates to be added.


A Dundee Review

Dundee Courier: Thursday, 17 March 1870

 The English Opera Company

'Last night the opera of Ernani, by Verdi, was performed by Mr Corri’s talented company.  All the interest that love and romance can throw about a story clings around this piece.

'The heaviest part of the work fell upon the primo tenore, Mr Parkinson, as Ernani, the hero of the tale.  The character is one requiring extreme exertion on the part of anyone who undertakes it; and we must accord to Mr Parkinson high praise for the manner in which he went through his arduous role.  His voice is a clear, ringing tenor, of ample scope, and thoroughly under his command.  It is a great pleasure to hear a solo from this gentleman, or in a duet with Madame Corri Gillies, the prima donna.

This lady made her second appearance last night in the present short season, and acquitted herself in the character of Donna Elvira in such a way as to call forth repeatedly the most enthusiastic plaudits of the audience.  Donna Elvira has a romantic career, and Madame Corri takes the part with great spirit and vivacity, as was shown in her personation last night.

'Mr Henry Corri as Don Ruy Gomez de Silva, a Spanish grandee, took his part as well as ever, his magnificent bass voice being called well into play when Gomez has to growl out his ill-will at Ernani, the bandit, who is too strong for him as a wooer of the fair Elvira.  Don Carlos, King of Spain, taken by Mr Haydn Corri, comes well into notice in the course of the performance, and with no loss of credit to himself.  As a baritone, Mr Haydn Corri has long held a high position, and, like his brother and Mr Parkinson, grows in the good graces of those who have had the pleasure of listening to him in Dundee. 

'Although Don Iago and Don Ricardo are not very prominent characters in the piece, yet Mr Blythe, who assumed the former, and Mr Ellison, who took the latter, personated them in a manner, which, taken with their previous appearances, showed they are thoroughly well fitted to hold their ground in the first-class company of artistes of which they form a part.  Mr Pew, the conductor of the orchestra, deserves high praise for the admirable way in which he does his trying and complex duties.

'During the intervals the music is very much missed, as is testified by the persistent efforts of the gallery audience to make it for themselves – all present being treated to it gratis.  This custom, though not known in England, is very common in Ireland, the difference being that the shillelagh plays a prominent part in the chorus in the Green Isle, the whacks being heard not unfrequently above the Irish joy that bursts forth spontaneously on these occasions.  There was no singing last night till the last interval, which was the longest of several not very short intervals.  Although singing among the audience is better known in music halls than in theatres, we can easily suppose that gentlemen with the gifts of voice and lung must have found it very irksome to sit silent through the tedious intervals of last evening.

'Is it absolutely necessary that the intervals should be so long?  Because if not, the curtailing of them would be really a considerable improvement.  For one thing, the people requiring to leave in order to catch the ten o’clock boat for Newport might be in time at the end of the performance were the improvement we suggest carried out.   This would be a great boon to all parties – those who leave, the audience who remain, and the members of the opera company themselves.

'To-night there is great attraction.  Cinderella is to be performed, after which there comes a concert when many of our finest songs are to be sung by the best voices of the company.  It must be a rare treat to hear Mr Henry Corri sing such a song as “Simon the Cellarer.”'

Performance Cast

Ernani a bandit chief, in fact Don Juan of Aragon

William Parkinson (Mar 16)

Elvira Silva's niece

Ida Gilliess (Mar 16)

Don Carlo King of Castile

Haydn Corri (Mar 16)

Don Ruy Gomez da Silva a Spanish grandee, Elvira's guardian

Henry Corri (Mar 16)

Jago Silva's steward

Mr C M Blythe (Mar 16)

Don Riccardo adviser to the king

Charles Ellison (Mar 16)

Production Cast


John Pew (Mar 16)


John Wray Mould

Performance DatesErnani 1870

Map List

Theatre Royal, Dundee | Dundee

16 Mar, 19.30

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