Home > Contribute & create > Vicfix > The Opera House tragedy

The Opera House tragedy

Join this Vicfix campaign to refine reports of shots being fired in a Melbourne theatre

Vicfix is improving the searchability of digitised newspaper articles and making the hidden details of Victoria's rich history available for everyone.

About the Opera House tragedy

In July 1880, aggrieved husband John James MacGregor Greer fired at his wife and her lover, Frenchman MA Louis Soudry, while seated in the circle of the Melbourne Opera House. 'Women and men hid themselves between the seats, men bolted from the circle in a mad rush, leaving their ladies and charges behind them, while women and children screamed, and calls of "murder" resounded through the theatre.'

The episode transfixed staid Victorian society as a flurry of gory details, moralising editorials and daily updates ensued. Newspapers described the episode as 'the old-time story of a wife's inconstancy, a lover's perfidy and a husband's jealousy', and shocking details emerged of the affair beginning while the three protagonists sailed to Melbourne on board the vessel Garonne. The adulterous couple survived and Greer lingered for a week before dying of a self-inflicted gunshot to the head.

Contribute to this Vicfix campaign – it's easy!

  • Choose an article listed below and click through to correct it on Trove (see our How-to guide).
  • Add our tag 'vicfix-done' once the whole article is fixed.
  • Share what you've fixed with friends and family.
  • Follow us on Facebook and Twitter or subscribe to our enewsletter for Vicfix and other Library news.

Correct articles from one of our other Vicfix correction campaigns.

The Opera House tragedy

This Vicfix campaign is temporarily unavailable. We apologise for any incovenience - please return later to fix or browse this correction campaign.