Harrison, William, English tenor and operatic impresario; b. London, June 15, 1813; d. there, Nov. 9, 1868. He was trained at the Royal Academy of Music in London. On May 2, 1839, he made his operatic debut at London’s Covent Garden in Rooke’s Henrique. He then sang at London’s Drury Lane, where he created roles in works by Balfe (The Bohemian Girl, 1844), Benedict (The Brides of Venice, 1844, and The Crusaders, 1846), and Wallace (Maritana, 1845). In 1854 he made a concert tour of the U.S. With the soprano Louisa Pyne, he organized the Pyne-Harrison English Opera Co. in 1856. It presented performances at Covent Garden (1858–64), pre-miering works by Balfe, Benedict, Wallace, and other British composers.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire