Trav S.D. at the Hudson Opera House
Fritzi Scheff, in the act of making herself, vaudeville and opera obsolete all at the same time
Great news! I’m appearing at the Hudson Opera House this coming Saturday (October 1) at 4pm, where I’ll be singing selections from all the great masterworks of the Western Musical canon. Why, my Figaro alone is worth the price of admission (it’s free).
No, no — the reality is, I’ll be giving a talk, entitled Opera and Vaudeville: A Surprising History of High Art on the Popular Stage. They had EVERYTHING in vaudeville folks, and if you think opera singing is any less of an amazing and spectacular human activity than juggling or fire eating, you don’t get out much. Furthermore, for a while (thanks in part to vaudeville and some of its more enlightened impresarios) it was vastly more popular with the masses a century ago. Saturday, I’ll be discussing some of the impresarios who straddled both the opera and variety worlds, such as P.T. Barnum, Keith and Albee, Oscar Hammerstein I, Tony Pastor, and Ed Sullivan, as well as singers like Enrico Caruso, Lillian Russell, Fay Templeton, Nora Bayes, Trixie Friganza and many others. I’ll also discuss current trends in “grass-roots” opera and the revival of artistic song in taverns — opera’s returning to the vaudeville stage, folks!
This one’s an eye (and ear) opener, and no mistake. The hitch is it’s upstate, so this little missive is really for the folks who live in the Hudson Valley or are willing to make a little day trip. Directions and more info on the event, are here at the Hudson Opera House’s web site. (hudsonoperahouse.org.) We hope to see you there!