American Opera Company
- Dee Baily
Opera company. It was founded in 1885 by Jeannette Thurber, whose policy was to engage competent, if unknown, American singers for productions of grand opera sung in English. Thurber appointed a board of eminent directors with Andrew Carnegie as president, and engaged theodore Thomas, who had his own touring orchestra, as music director. Among the fully staged operas presented by the troupe were W.A. Mozart’s The Magic Flute, C.W. Gluck’s Orpheus and Euridice, Richad Wagner’s Lohengrin and The Flying Dutchman, Victor Massé’s Galatea, Verdi’s Aida, Karl Goldmark’s Queen of Sheba, and the American premiere of Anton Rubinstein’s Nero; the repertory also included the ballets Sylvia and Coppélia by Léo Delibes. The first season opened on 4 January 1886 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and the company’s ensuing six-month tour of the United States (mainly the Northeast) was hailed as an artistic success and a commendable effort in spite of poor management. After the first season, the company was reincorporated: Thomas became president, and it began its second season in ...