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Chicago Grand Opera Company


Chicago at the Grand Opera House

200px-Auditorium_Building_2Opera house

Two grand opera companies in Chicago have gone by the name Chicago Grand Opera Company

The first Chicago Grand Opera Company produced four seasons of opera in Chicago’s Auditorium Theater from the Fall of 1910 through November 1915. It was the first resident Chicago opera company. The company also spent several months each year performing in the city of Philadelphia where it performed at the Philadelphia Metropolitan Opera House under the name thePhiladelphia-Chicago Grand Opera Company in order to “satisfy the civic pride” of that city.  The company notably presented the world premieres of Victor Herbert‘s Natoma (1911) and Attilio Parelli‘s I dispettosi amanti (1912). The company also mounted the United States premieres of Jean Nouguès‘sQuo vadis (1911), Karl Goldmark‘s Das Heimchen am Herd (1912), and Alberto Franchetti‘s Cristoforo Colombo (1913). Notable performers who sang with the company included Paul AlthouseMarguerite BérizaArmand CrabbéCharles DalmorèsEnrica Clay DillonJenny DufauHector DufranneMinnie EgenerAmy Evans,Mary GardenJeanne Gerville-RéacheOrville HarroldGustave HuberdeauFrances IngramLydia LipkowskaVanni MarcouxCarmen MelisLucien MuratoreGiovanni PoleseAlbert ReissMyrna SharlowTarquinia TarquiniLuisa TetrazziniAlice Zeppilli, and Nicola Zerola among others.

The second Chicago Grand Opera Company was an attempt to keep opera going in Chicago after the collapse of the Chicago Civic Opera in 1932. It produced three seasons of opera at the Civic Opera House from 1933 to 1935 before it too succumbed to financial difficulties. It was succeeded by the Chicago City Opera Company.

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